5 Crucial Steps to Take When Disaster Strikes

How many times have you thought about what you would do in an emergency setting? We’re willing to bet probably zero. Hey, it’s cool. We get it. There are so many other things business owners need to think about throughout their days (and sometimes their nights). We really hate to add another thing to your already-full plate, but you should definitely start thinking about what to do in the face of disaster. After all, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40-60% of businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster.

This doesn’t have to be you. There just a few simple but important steps you need to take to stay in business. Since technology is everywhere and practically every business needs it to survive, you’ll want to start with putting a strong IT disaster recovery plan in place. This plan will help keep your doors open, whether the power goes out, you’re hit by a tornado, or some other crisis happens out of the blue. Follow these 5 steps to begin creating your disaster recovery plan:

Make Your Plan – Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once famously said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. We like to think he was speaking about putting your IT disaster recovery plan in place. Write out your plan and begin documenting all of your applications, equipment, and vendor contracts and agreements. Make sure that you can safely access this information in several locations. You’re not done yet – review your plan annually and make changes wherever you need to. And there you have it: a plan is born!

Keep Your Employees Informed – You know what they say about assuming, right? Well, we’re assuming that you know (see what we did there?). Anyway, don’t just think that your employees know what to do when disaster strikes. Keep everyone on the same page. Tell them about what to do and what their roles are. In fact, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual meeting for everyone to review the policy and IT disaster recovery plan. We recommend ordering pizza for everyone, too.

Back Up More Than Your Data – Hey, your data and important documents definitely need to be duplicated and stored safely. But don’t forget about your IT infrastructure components, application settings, and equipment. Just remember to use the proper data backup software when you take this step.

Test the Plan – Having an IT disaster recovery plan in place is all fine and dandy, but does it actually work? You probably should find out before a crisis occurs. Try it out through simulated disasters – you could even use sound effects and really act the part to make it more realistic (or fun). We won’t judge. Just run regular practice drills in your office to find any glaring gaps in the plan. Doing this (the testing, not the sound effect making) will ultimately reduce your risk of any unanticipated errors.

Don’t Procrastinate – You might bet your bottom dollar that the sun will come out tomorrow, Little Orphan Annie, but that doesn’t give you permission to put off creating your plan and putting it in place. You might think your business will be safe from disaster, but the truth is companies like yours are affected every day by disaster. Trust us, you’re going to want to get this done today. It’ll be one less task on your to-do list, and we all know how satisfying it is to check off a task once it’s done!

Establishing greatness (a.k.a. a solid IT disaster plan) takes time. We support you in your mission in helping keep your business open with fewer hiccups in the process. We also provide incredible tech support to help you stay focused on what you do best. Call us today at (314) 890-2208 to learn more about how we can serve you.

Tech TalkMaria Berra