Avoid Disaster This Summer: Disaster Recovery Checklist

Disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) are not just integral elements of an organization’s risk management strategy—they are its backbone. These critical components ensure that a company can continue to operate smoothly and maintain access to essential data and systems during times of crisis. Whether facing a natural calamity such as an earthquake or flood, a targeted cyberattack, or any other disruptive incident, having robust DR and BC plans is essential for any organization that values resilience and reliability.

Disaster recovery (DR) focuses on restoring IT infrastructure and operations after a crisis. It’s about having a plan to recover critical systems and data, minimizing downtime and data loss. This is crucial because 93% of businesses that lose their data center for ten days or more go bankrupt within one year, and 43% of organizations that experience a disaster never reopen. A robust DR strategy involves identifying key applications and systems vital for the business's immediate functioning and establishing detailed processes for their recovery. It also includes regular simulations and drills to ensure that every part of the plan is effective and that employees know their roles during an emergency. Moreover, modern DR approaches are increasingly incorporating cloud solutions, offering flexibility and scalability to handle various disaster scenarios.

Business continuity (BC), on the other hand, is broader. It involves maintaining essential functions during and after a disaster. It’s not just about IT systems but encompasses all critical business functions across departments. A comprehensive BC plan ensures that operations can continue with minimal disruption, which is vital for customer trust and contractual obligations. Beyond immediate disaster response, BC planning also focuses on the longer-term aspects of recovery, ensuring that the business can maintain operational capabilities even under reduced conditions. This plan typically includes contingencies for workspace, human resources, communications, and supply chain, all crucial for sustaining core business activities. Effective BC strategies are dynamic, tailored to the organization's specific needs and structures, and regularly reviewed and updated to adapt to new business developments and potential threats.

As we head into the summer and the hurricane season, it’s essential to think about these plans. The risks of natural disasters increase, and the potential for significant business disruption grows. Having robust DR and BC plans in place can mean the difference between a temporary setback and a catastrophic failure of the business. To start a DR plan, an organization should conduct a risk assessment, identify critical systems and data, and determine recovery objectives. For BC, it’s about understanding all business processes, the impact of potential disruptions, and strategies to maintain operations.

Best Practices

Both DR and BC are essential because they provide a safety net that allows businesses to operate confidently, knowing they are prepared for unforeseen events. They protect a company's financial health, reputation, and long-term viability. Best practices for disaster recovery planning include:

  1. Risk Assessment: Identify the risks your organization faces, such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, or system failures. This will help prioritize the recovery efforts for the most critical systems and data.
  2. Define Recovery Objectives: Establish clear recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for different business processes and systems. This will guide the recovery strategy and ensure alignment with business needs.
  3. Develop a Comprehensive Plan: Your disaster recovery plan should detail the steps to restore IT operations following a disaster. It should include contact information for key personnel, step-by-step recovery procedures, and a list of critical resources.
  4. Regular Testing and Updates: Test your DR plan regularly to ensure it works as expected. Update the plan to reflect any changes in your IT environment or business operations.
  5. Employee Training: Ensure staff are trained in their roles in the DR plan. They should know what to do in the event of a disaster to minimize confusion and downtime.
  6. Secure Offsite Backups: Maintain backups of critical data and systems in a secure, offsite location. This step ensures that you can restore data even if your primary site is compromised.
  7. Incident Response Team: Establish a dedicated team responsible for managing the disaster recovery process. This team should have clear roles and responsibilities and be able to mobilize quickly in case of a disaster.
  8. Communication Plan: Develop a communication strategy to keep employees, stakeholders, and customers informed during and after a disaster. This will help manage expectations and maintain trust.
  9. Integration with Business Continuity: Ensure that your DR plan is integrated with your business continuity plan. While DR focuses on IT systems, BC encompasses all aspects of business operations.
  10. Third-Party Support: Consider partnering with third-party firms for additional support. They can provide expertise and resources that may not be available in-house.


As the summer months approach, bringing with them the heightened risk of natural disasters and other disruptions, robust disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) plans become increasingly important. Organizations that take the time to establish and refine these plans are not just preparing to survive potential crises but setting the stage for continued operation and success in the face of unforeseen challenges. Effective DR and BC strategies are vital, acting as critical safeguards that protect against immediate operational impacts and long-term damage to reputation and financial stability.



Would you like to find out more about Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity? Learn how we can build custom Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions tailored to your unique IT operations: https://landings.synergy-technical.com/disaster-recovery-bc