Now is not the time to be creating your disaster recovery plans

Planning for disaster shouldn't start when the disaster is imminent.

Over the last few days I’ve received no fewer than five emails from various vendors of disaster recovery / business continuity services. The publicity surrounding the progress of hurricane Isaac has brought these vendors PR people all the same idea; it’s time to remind the media and our customers (and potential customers) that they should be reviewing or creating their disaster recovery plans, testing their equipment, and going through the checklist of tasks and responsibilities in the event of a business disaster.

The problem with this is that while facing impending doom it is not the time to check to see if you are wearing clean underwear. Every list of “things to do” or canned article I’ve received on this topic makes good points; it’s all useful information. In fact, they are all lists and stories that I’ve probably written in some form, more than once, over the last 20 years. But when disaster is bearing down on you the only checking you should need to be doing on your DR/BC plans is that those responsible for implementing are aware of the status of all of the related issues and that everything is current.

Planning to mitigate the potential problems that some sort of disaster can bring and what you need to do to keep your business up and running should disaster strike is an ongoing process, not a last minute patch. The announcements of impending hurricanes or other conditions that can be predicted can serve as a reminder to check with your DR people to make sure the process is working, but if the process hasn’t been implemented or kept up to date all you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope that the storm passes you by.

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