13 Point Checklist

  • Start with a Business Impact Analysis:  Identify your business' most critical system and process and the effect an outage would have on the business.  The greater the impact, the more funds a company should spend to restore a sysytem honor process quickly.
  • Succession Plan:  Who can take the reins of the company if the CEO perished?
  • Establish a Disaster Recovery Team:  Elect one spokesperson from the group for communication.  Int he event a multi-location organization each location should have a core team or representative that works with the corporate entity.
  • Perform a Risk Assessment in the following areas: 
    • Information
    • Communication Infrastructure
    • Access and Authorization
    • Physical Work Environment
    • Internal and External Communication
  • Create a list of your business processes and prioritize them.  You take orders, create invoices, receive payments, process payroll, communicate internally and externally.  This is a big level list.
  • Training:  Train backup employees to perform emergency tasks. The employees you count on to lead in an emergency may not always be available.
  • Crisis Meeting Places:  Determine offsite crisis meeting places and crisis communication plans for top executives an managers.  Practice crisis communication with employees, customers, and the outside world.
  • Walkie Talkies - invest in a n alternative means of communication in case the phone networks go down.
  • Practice makes perfect:  Make sure the employees, as wells the executives, are involved in exercises so that they get practice in responding to an emergency.
  • Make it real:  Make the business continuity exercises realistic enough to tap into employee's emotions so that you can see how they'll react when the situation gets stressful.
  • Partnerships:  Form partnerships with local emergency response groups - police, fire fighters and EMTs - to establish a good working relationship.  Let them become familiar with your company and the site.
  • Continuous Process Improvement:  Evaluate your company's performance during each test.  These exercises should reveal weaknesses.  Find where your plan breaks down dn take action to remediate the shortfall.
  • Test Regularly:  Test your plan regularly to reveal weaknesses or need changes and adapt your plan.  Technology, personnel and facilities are in a  constant stay of flux in any company.