Disaster Recover Planning

The CATIC Disaster Readiness Challenge

A "disaster" is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a business or organization, which can cause human, material, and financial or environmental losses that exceed the business or organization's ability to cope using its normal resources.

The key to evaluating your readiness for a disaster is understanding how and where your business is vulnerable. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have realized that our businesses are vulnerable to costly interruptions when crises strike. At the time of this writing it has been estimated that roughly 60% of businesses do not have a fully drafted disaster recovery plan. This guide is intended to help you begin the process of drafting your own plan so that you are prepared for potential hazards.

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What are some of the additional key areas that you should consider? 

Readiness/Preparedness Manager: Consider appointing an individual within your organization who is responsible for ensuring that you are capable of handling a disaster. Hold regularly scheduled meetings for all members of your organization to review and discuss the status of the items covered in this Challenge and anything else your team feels is necessary for business continuity. Assign specific areas of responsibility to other members of your organization as suggested below. 

Human Resources/Payroll: In a remote working environment, employees will still need to access HR resources, which support business continuity across the enterprise. There are options available that will ensure secure online access to things like payroll information, time off, benefits, and goal setting, etc. Responsibility: HR Manager/Office Manager

IT security: It is critical to ensure that servers, laptops, and remote PCs are loaded with the latest security updates so that auto updates occur whenever possible. Consider reaching out to your IT service providers to confirm that all of your systems are up to date. Responsibility: Office Manager/inside or outside IT Manager

Banking services: Most banking institutions offer at least some key services online. It would be beneficial to ensure that your employees have online access from remote locations and are keeping their passwords updated regularly. Consider communicating with your banking representatives to confirm that any banking services needed to operate your daily business are accessible online. Responsibility: Office Manager/Finance Manager

Office Supplies/Postage/Overnight Delivery: All employees will likely need to have access to supplies (paper, printer toner, etc.) as well as postage and overnight delivery supplies and access  in order to conduct business remotely. Responsibility: Office Manager

Website Maintenance: Communicate with your webmaster and hosting service to ensure that your website will be routinely maintained and all necessary updates and client notifications will be added as necessary.  Responsibility: Office Manager/IT/Webmaster 

Client Notifications and Status Updates: In a remote working environment, it will be very important to ensure that your client lists (emails, phone numbers, etc.) are updated and backed up consistently. Additionally, any such updated lists should be made available to your employees. One approach might be to ensure that template notification forms are available for email distribution and in a format that can be posted on your website. This will make it easier to keep your clients informed and communications across your organization flowing. Responsibility: Office Manager 

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THANK YOU for taking the CATIC Disaster Readiness Challenge and considering whether you need a disaster recovery or business continuity plan!

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