A Checklist For Disaster Recovery

A Checklist For Disaster Recovery


Disasters that impact your facility can take many forms - from tornadoes, to floods, to general intrusions. This disaster recovery checklist can help.

Some disasters, such as hurricanes, provide days of warning in advance. Others, such as fires or earthquakes, can strike at any moment. What can you do to minimize the impact when disaster strikes?

Many of the things you do in response to disaster should be in place long before an event occurs:

A Detailed Plan

The first step in preparing for any disaster is to have a thorough Disaster Recovery Plan that spells out policies and procedures, and assigns responsibilities to key stakeholders. For small businesses, plan templates can be downloaded at no charge. Your plan should include items such as:

  • Physical security procedures that cover what to do in the event that your facility is damaged or temporarily shut down. 
  • Instructions for shutting off or reactivating utilities, or using alternative power sources in the event of an area outage.
  • A communications plan with messaging for employees, vendors and customers if a disaster impacts your ability to do business.
  • A checklist that spells out your top action items should a disaster actually hit. 

Once this plan is formalized, don't make the common mistake of sitting it on a shelf; make sure that all relevant personnel can access and download a digital version of it, and be ready to send it electronically if a disaster strikes. 

Transition To The Cloud

Your data and your ability to communicate are two of the greatest assets of your business. Migrating to the cloud enables you to create savings and efficiencies throughout your organization - and provides substantial benefits should a disaster occur. These include:

  • Secure offsite data storage and backup.
  • Increased system redundancy.
  • A greater ability to communicate to employees, vendors, clients and customers.
  • The ability to monitor and check your security, access control and other systems remotely. 

Up-To-Date Inventory

For insurance and replacement purposes, you should always have a current inventory of your most valuable assets. These include computers, printers, communications equipment, servers and other items that would be vulnerable to damage or theft.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Is your business really covered in the event of an earthquake or flood? Your policy may replace your equipment and rebuild your facility - but what about the disruption of your day-to day business, loss of revenue, or even the potential loss of long-term clients who may have to go elsewhere if your business temporarily closes? Review your policy closely, and talk to your insurance agent about contingencies for business lost due to disasters. 

Contingency Work Plans

There's a silver lining to the recent shelter-in-place orders: Most businesses now have experience shifting to remote work. This knowledge will come in handy if your facility is ever temporarily disabled.

Pre- and Post-Emergency Checklist

Your Disaster Recovery Plan should be viewed as a broad, sweeping document that covers the fundamentals of how to prepare for a disaster.

In addition, you should have a checklist of things your staff should do if the threat of a disaster arises, and what to do during its aftermath. Many of these items may not be covered in standard plan templates; some of them may be specific to your business or industry. 

Items for your checklist should include:

  • An immediate review of your surveillance, access control and data security systems - both before and after a disaster. Your security partner can assist you with this.
  • Removal of cash and valuable items from your facility.
  • Removal of items that could be targets of looters, should the facility become damaged.
  • Check on the status of all deliveries that may be en route to your facility.
  • Check your facility for downed wires, water leaks, gas leaks or other damage, and shut off all utilities that have been impacted by the disaster.
  • Check for potential structural hazards the disaster may have created, such as unstable walls, floors or structures that could collapse.
  • For insurance purposes, take a full inventory of all damaged or missing items. Document your findings thoroughly with photographs.


Open A World Of New Security Capabilities. Call PARADYME

PARADYME provides comprehensive security services for businesses throughout Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. From security and surveillance systems, to off-site data storage and management, to cloud migration, to 24/7 monitoring, we're here to help ensure the safety of your people, data, assets and facilities.

To find out how we can help you prepare for any emergency, or to arrange a complimentary walk-through and review of your security systems, contact us today.

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