Continuity Centers

Don’t forget employees when designing disaster recovery plans

Organizations attempting to improve their disaster recovery initiatives will undoubtedly focus on safeguarding critical data and applications from future disruptions. However, businesses should not overlook the importance of keeping employees prepared as well. Staff members must understand their roles should offices experience floods, fires, power outages and powerful storms that can stop productivity in its tracks.

A TechRepublic report by Mary Shacklett highlighted how important the human element is to disaster preparedness. One suggestion should be present at every company: Firms must have some protocol in place to test recovery plans. She indicated organizations should review these materials annually at a minimum.

It is best to update these plans more often, however, given that system configurations are updated, operations evolve and new threats emerge, Shacklett wrote.

Communication is essential
Even with thorough training and planning, employees can still get caught off-guard when disasters strike. Communication in these situations is critical following disruptions. Shacklett explained many businesses have network trees in place to connect personnel with the CEO, C-level decision-makers, managers and supervisors.

"Employees cannot be secondary during disasters."

Companies may want to review these communication trees on a quarterly basis to ensure all staff members are prepared to collaborate should a disaster strike. Businesses that do not take this approach may have employees who revert back to older methods, resulting in misinformation, Shacklett added.

Try and remain calm
Depending on the severity of the event, workers can become flustered during a disaster. If their physical safety is in danger, staff members may panic. Shacklett noted C-level executives in particular should take a vested interest in ensuring employees are safe following any disasters. This can include checking in with people to see if they are emotionally stable, as well as paying attention to their own well-being in these situations.

When time is not a luxury, recovery specialists help clients be proactive during disasters. When time is not a luxury, recovery specialists help clients be proactive during disasters.

Address all facets of disaster preparedness
Businesses that want the most effective disaster recovery plan possible may be unable to develop such initiatives on their own. Rather than make any mistakes in the planning phase, especially regarding the protection of both employees and IT assets, firms should consider contacting recovery specialists for assistance.

These service providers are in the business of helping customers make the most of their disaster recovery protocols. These vendors work closely with clients to identify which data backups are the most suitable for their respective brands, as well as determine if response plans are outdated. These companies will collaborate with organizations to educate employees on how they can respond to disruptions to avoid any unnecessary panic or ineffective approaches that will further impact operational efficiency.

No business can successfully avoid every type of disaster. Some are caused by human error, others by unexpected power outages or from Mother Nature-related incidents that damage buildings and force office closures. Overlooking a response plan is a surefire way for any company to lose money from not offering service to clients and customers, allowing the competition to thrive if downtime persists for hours, days or even longer.

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