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Whether it’s a hurricane, fire, flood, or even a cyber-attack, disasters, both natural and manmade, happen. The toll of these events can be staggering. From downtime to losing everything, the impact can be significant. According to FEMA, almost 40% of small businesses will close their doors forever, after a disaster.

How would your business react? Can you keep your business running in the event of a significant disruption, like a prolonged power outage? If not, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that 68% of small businesses don’t have a written plan for disaster and recovery or a business continuity plan in place.

Today, you have to plan for any number of scenarios, from a natural disaster to potential security breaches, a ransomware attack, or data loss.

Creating a disaster recovery plan today is a critical strategy to protect everything you’ve built and should include these key elements:

  • A Comprehensive, Current Inventory – Inventory everything including hardware, software, and applications. Then prioritize what needs to get restored first in the event of a problem. Include information like serial numbers, contact info, and tech support. Also make sure to list passwords to access cloud-based programs, CRM platforms, and data backups.
  • Define Responsibilities – In the event of a disaster, every employee should take immediate action. This can only happen if they know what to do. Make sure those responsible for deploying your disaster and recovery plan are identified and are familiar with your recovery process. Who’s in charge of getting systems back up and operating? Who makes phone calls and sends emails? Who will speak to law enforcement or the media if it becomes necessary? Make a list including phone and email contact info.
  • Have a Communications Plan – Once everyone knows their responsibilities, they will next need a clear understanding of how to communicate. During a disaster, normal modes of communication may not be available. If that happens, have an outline of procedures and processes for making contact, plus backup plans if email, cell, or landlines are down. Communication is key for your entire team, including vendors and customers.

The actual event of a disaster shouldn’t be the first time you run your plan, it should be the last! To make sure you’re prepared, conduct periodic reviews, updates, and tests. Technology and information change rapidly. Periodic testing and reviews can keep your plan ready and effective should the worst happen.

Don’t have a disaster and recovery plan for your business? Give us a call today. We can help you develop a plan to make sure your business stays up and running in the event of the unthinkable.

 

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