All I Need to Know about Business I Learned from a Duck

Archive for October, 2012

Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Watching news coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast reminded me that nearly 40% of all small businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen. I’m guessing that statistic is closely correlated to a recent finding that 49% of small businesses have disaster recovery plans equivalent to what you see in the video, below.

The likelihood of something bad happening to your business is very high and getting higher. Munich Reinsurance America, the world’s largest reinsurance company, conducted a study that showed the number of weather-related loss events in North America nearly quintupled in the past three decades accounting for $510 billion of insured losses. Now we can add an additional $20 billion in estimated property damages from Superstorm Sandy along with $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business.

But wait, there’s more! In addition to natural disasters, companies are also exposed to man-made disasters including information security incidents, computer crash and/or malfunction, fire, explosion, ruptured gas mains, air or water contamination, chemical release and a host of other serious incidents that could prohibit a company from continuing normal operations.

Nearly 1 ½ years ago I wrote an article in this blog about how importance it is for companies to create a written disaster recovery plan. I don’t like to repeat myself but I also recognize that circumstances can sometimes provide an opportunity for a message that was previously ignored to be heard. So here, once again, are seven objectives that your plan should achieve:

1. Serves as a guide for the recovery teams.
2. References and points to the location of critical data.
3. Provides procedures and resources needed to assist in recovery.
4. Identifies vendors and customers that must be notified in the event of a disaster.
5. Assists in avoiding confusion experienced during a crisis by documenting, testing and reviewing recovery procedures.
6. Identifies alternate sources for supplies, resources and locations.
7. Documents storage, safeguarding and retrieval procedures for vital records.

And because I don’t want you to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off if a disaster should strike your company, here are two free downloadable disaster recovery plan templates HERE and HERE.