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What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization’s ability to restore access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster event, whether natural or caused by human action (or error). DR is considered a subset of business continuity, explicitly focusing on ensuring that the IT systems that support critical business functions are operational as soon as possible after a disruptive event occurs.

Today, disaster recovery planning is crucial for any business, especially those operating either partially or entirely in the cloud. Disasters that interrupt service and cause data loss can happen anytime without warning—your network could have an outage, a critical bug could get released, or your business might have to weather a natural disaster. Organizations with robust and well-tested disaster recovery strategies can minimize the impact of disruptions, achieve faster recovery times, and resume core operations rapidly when things go awry.   

Learn more about Google Cloud backup and disaster recovery features and products and how they can be used to build the right DR solution for your business.

IT disaster recovery defined

IT disaster recovery is a portfolio of policies, tools, and processes used to recover or continue operations of critical IT infrastructure, software, and systems after a natural or human-made disaster.

The first and foremost aspect of a disaster recovery plan is cloud. The cloud is considered the best solution for both business continuity and disaster recovery. The cloud eliminates the need to run a separate disaster recovery data center (or recovery site). 

What is a disaster recovery site? 

It’s a second, physical data center that’s costly to build and maintain—and with the cloud, made unnecessary.

What is considered a disaster?

Dr planning and strategies focus on responding to and recovering from disasters—events that disrupt or completely stop a business from operating..

While these events can be natural disasters like a hurricane, they can also be caused by a severe system failure, an intentional attack, or even human error. 

Types of disasters can include: 

  • Natural disasters (for example, earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires)
  • Pandemics and epidemics
  • Cyber attacks (for example, malware, DDoS, and ransomware attacks)
  • Other intentional, human-caused threats such as terrorist or biochemical attacks
  • Technological hazards (for example, power outages, pipeline explosions, and transportation accidents)
  • Machine and hardware failure 

Importance of disaster recovery

Technology plays an increasingly important role in every aspect of business, with applications and services enabling companies to be more agile, available, and connected. This trend has contributed to the widespread adoption of cloud computing by organizations to drive growth, innovation, and exceptional customer experience. 

However, the migration to cloud environments—public, private, hybrid, or multicloud—and the rise of remote workforces are introducing more infrastructure complexity and potential risks. Disaster recovery for cloud-based systems is critical to an overall business continuity strategy. A system breakdown or unplanned downtime can have serious consequences for enterprises that rely heavily on cloud-based resources, applications, documents, and data storage to keep things running smoothly. 

In addition, data privacy laws and standards stipulate that most organizations are now required to have a disaster recovery strategy. Failure to follow DR plans can result in compliance violations and steep regulatory fines. 

Every business needs to be able to recover quickly from any event that stops day-to-day operations, no matter what industry or size. Without a disaster recovery plan, a company can suffer data loss, reduced productivity, out-of-budget expenses, and reputational damage that can lead to lost customers and revenue. 

How disaster recovery works

Disaster recovery relies on having a solid plan to get critical applications and infrastructure up and running after an outage—ideally within minutes..

An effective DR plan addresses three different elements for recovery: 

  • Preventive: Ensuring your systems are as secure and reliable as possible, using tools and techniques to prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place. This may include backing up critical data or continuously monitoring environments for configuration errors and compliance violations. 
  • Detective: For rapid recovery, you’ll need to know when a response is necessary. These measures focus on detecting or discovering unwanted events as they happen in real time. 
  • Corrective: These measures are aimed at planning for potential DR scenarios, ensuring backup operations to reduce impact, and putting recovery procedures into action to restore data and systems quickly when the time comes. 

Typically, disaster recovery involves securely replicating and backing up critical data and workloads to a secondary location or multiple locations—disaster recovery sites. A disaster recovery site can be used to recover data from the most recent backup or a previous point in time. Organizations can also switch to using a DR site if the primary location and its systems fail due to an unforeseen event until the primary one is restored.

Types of disaster recovery

The types of disaster recovery you’ll need will depend on your it infrastructure, the type of backup and recovery you use, and the assets you need to protect..

Here are some of the most common technologies and techniques used in disaster recovery: 

  • Backups: With backups, you back up data to an offsite system or ship an external drive to an offsite location. However, backups do not include any IT infrastructure, so they are not considered a full disaster recovery solution. 
  • Backup as a service (BaaS): Similar to remote data backups, BaaS solutions provide regular data backups offered by a third-party provider. 
  • Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS): Many cloud providers offer DRaaS, along with cloud service models like IaaS and PaaS . A DRaaS service model allows you to back up your data and IT infrastructure and host them on a third-party provider’s cloud infrastructure. During a crisis, the provider will implement and orchestrate your DR plan to help recover access and functionality with minimal interruption to operations.  
  • Point-in-time snapshots: Also known as point-in-time copies, snapshots replicate data, files, or even an entire database at a specific point in time. Snapshots can be used to restore data as long as the copy is stored in a location unaffected by the event. However, some data loss can occur depending on when the snapshot was made. 
  • Virtual DR: Virtual DR solutions allow you to back up operations and data or even create a complete replica of your IT infrastructure and run it on offsite virtual machines (VMs). In the event of a disaster, you can reload your backup and resume operation quickly. This solution requires frequent data and workload transfers to be effective. 
  • Disaster recovery sites: These are locations that organizations can temporarily use after a disaster event, which contain backups of data, systems, and other technology infrastructure.

Benefits of disaster recovery

Stronger business continuity.

Every second counts when your business goes offline, impacting productivity, customer experience, and your company’s reputation. Disaster recovery helps safeguard critical business operations by ensuring they can recover with minimal or no interruption. 

Enhanced security

DR plans use data backup and other procedures that strengthen your security posture and limit the impact of attacks and other security risks. For example, cloud-based disaster recovery solutions offer built-in security capabilities, such as advanced encryption, identity and access management, and organizational policy. 

Faster recovery

Disaster recovery solutions make restoring your data and workloads easier so you can get business operations back online quickly after a catastrophic event. DR plans leverage data replication and often rely on automated recovery to minimize downtime and data loss.

Reduced recovery costs

The monetary impacts of a disaster event can be significant, ranging from loss of business and productivity to data privacy penalties to ransoms. With disaster recovery, you can avoid, or at least minimize, some of these costs. Cloud DR processes can also reduce the operating costs of running and maintaining a secondary location.

High availability

Many cloud-based services come with high availability (HA) features that can support your DR strategy. HA capabilities help ensure an agreed level of performance and offer built-in redundancy and automatic failover, protecting data against equipment failure and other smaller-scale events that may impact data availability. 

Better compliance

DR planning supports compliance requirements by considering potential risks and defining a set of specific procedures and protections for your data and workloads in the event of a disaster. This usually includes strong data backup practices, DR sites, and regularly testing your DR plan to ensure that your organization is prepared. 

Planning a disaster recovery strategy

A comprehensive disaster recovery strategy should include detailed emergency response requirements, backup operations, and recovery procedures. DR strategies and plans often help form a broader business continuity strategy, which includes contingency plans to mitigate impact beyond IT infrastructure and systems, allowing all business areas to resume normal operations as soon as possible. 

When it comes to creating disaster recovery strategies, you should carefully consider the following key metrics: 

  • Recovery time objective (RTO): The maximum acceptable length of time that systems and applications can be down without causing significant damage to the business. For example, some applications can be offline for an hour, while others might need to recover in minutes.
  • Recovery point objective (RPO) : The maximum age of data you need to recover to resume operations after a major event. RPO helps to define the frequency of backups. 

These metrics are particularly useful when conducting risk assessments and business impact analysis (BIA) for potential disasters, from moderate to worst-case scenarios. Risk assessments and BIAs evaluate all functional areas of a business and the consequences of any risks, which can help define DR goals and the actions needed to achieve them before or after an event occurs. 

When creating your recovery strategy, it’s useful to consider your RTO and RPO values and pick a DR pattern that will enable you to meet those values and your overall goals. Typically, the smaller your values (or the faster your applications need to recover after an interruption), the higher the cost to run your application. 

Cloud disaster recovery can greatly reduce the costs of RTO and RPO when it comes to fulfilling on-premises requirements for capacity, security, network infrastructure, bandwidth, support, and facilities. A highly managed service on Google Cloud can help you avoid most, if not all, complicating factors and allow you to reduce many business costs significantly. 

For more guidance on using Google Cloud to address disaster recovery, you can read our Disaster recovery planning guide or contact your account manager for help with creating a DR plan.

Solve your business challenges with Google Cloud

What is disaster recovery used for, ensure business resilience.

No matter what happens, a good DR plan can ensure that the business can return to full operations rapidly, without losing data or transactions.

Maintain competitiveness

When a business goes offline, customers are rarely loyal. They turn to competitors to get the goods or services they require. A DR plan prevents this.

Avoid regulatory risks

Many industries have regulations dictating where data can be stored and how it must be protected. Heavy fines result if these mandates are not met.

Avoid data loss

The longer a business’s systems are down, the greater the risk that data will be lost. A robust DR plan minimizes this risk.

Keep customers happy

Meeting customer service level agreements (SLAs) is always a priority. A well-executed DR plan can help businesses achieve SLAs despite challenges.

Maintain reputation

A business that has trouble resuming operations after an outage can suffer brand damage. For that reason, a solid DR plan is critical.

Related products and services

Google offers many products that can be used as building blocks when creating a secure and reliable DR plan, including Cloud Storage .

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What is a disaster recovery plan + complete checklist.

Kyle Chin

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of detailed, documented guidelines that outline a business’ critical assets and explain how the organization will respond to unplanned incidents. Unplanned incidents or disasters typically include cyber attacks , system failures, power outages, natural disasters, equipment failures, or infrastructure disasters.

More specifically, a disaster recovery plan measures how capable an organization’s ability to restore IT infrastructure functionality and access to critical data, regardless of the disaster event.

A DRP should identify the responsibilities of staff within the organization, outline the step-by-step instructions for the disaster recovery process, and create plans to mitigate and reduce the impact of the incident so that the company can resume basic operations.

Why Is Having a Disaster Recovery Plan Important?

Disaster recovery plans are just one part of an overall security plan and should be established and implemented along with business continuity plans and incident response plans . Without these plans in place, companies can suffer catastrophic damage in form of data loss, data exposure, significantly reduced productivity, penalties and fines, reputational damage, lost revenue, and unplanned recovery expenses.

Creating disaster recovery plans, along with business continuity and incident response plans, can help build confidence with stakeholders, investors, clients, and business partners that demonstrate the capability and preparation to deal with any incident.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is similar to a disaster recovery plan, but a continuity plan is an overarching plan that outlines the steps needed for a business to continue operating in the event of an incident or disaster. A disaster recovery plan considers a more structured approach to the recovery process rather than the continuity process.

Learn more about business continuity plans >

What is an Incident Response Plan?

Incident response plans are critical to any security program because they provide detailed actions for responding and reacting to specific incidents. An incident response plan is focused on handling a cybersecurity incident and its fallout from start to finish, whereas a DR plan is a more robust plan that considers the potential of serious damage to the whole enterprise and how to restore technology.

Learn more about incident response plans >

Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

Clear disaster response procedures are critical. Implementing disaster recovery quickly minimizes damage and speeds up recovery. The first few hours, in particular, can be critical. The disaster recovery plan’s emergency response procedures section should comprise clear, practical steps in language sufficient for widespread understanding.

A disaster recovery plan should be organized by location and type of disaster. No single disaster recovery plan template exists because every business is different, but a comprehensive disaster recovery plan should cover the following factors:

1. Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

A business impact analysis should be performed before creating a disaster recovery or business continuity plan . The analysis should determine the entire scope of potential aftereffects and impacts in case of a disruption to critical business operations.

Each potential disaster scenario must be planned for, and the systems and subsequent parties that will be affected must also be identified to determine which business components must be protected first to continue operating. The main difference between a BIA and BCP is that a BIA assesses the potential impact while a BCP outlines a plan based on the BIA to ensure operations are minimally affected.

Impacts that should be considered include:

  • Loss of sales or income
  • Cost of recovery (time, labor, equipment, staffing, public relations)
  • Total business downtime
  • Regulatory fines for failed compliance
  • Damage to reputation or customer trust

Ultimately, a BIA provides the necessary context and data for businesses to progress in their risk management and disaster recovery processes.

2. Perform Risk Analysis and Vulnerability Assessments

Risk analysis and vulnerability assessments identify the biggest threats and vulnerabilities that could potentially affect the business. The risk and vulnerability assessment process is designed to help businesses prioritize risk and vulnerability mitigation processes.

Different threats and vulnerabilities can affect different industries, so it’s important to identify which ones pose the biggest risk to your organization. Risks should be classified by the likelihood of occurrence and impact on assets, so the company can begin to plan business recovery processes surrounding those threats.

Risk analyses are important to anticipate and plan for the worst-case scenario and have plans in place to minimize the impact of a critical disaster. Once the risks and vulnerabilities have been identified, businesses can begin to build a risk management plan.

Risk analysis can be accomplished in two ways: qualitative and quantitative risk analysis methods . Qualitative risk analysis assesses risk using subjective data (such as perceived reputational impact) and hypothetical scenarios to determine disaster impact. Quantitative risk analysis measures risk through statistical probabilities and estimated quantifiable impact to determine risk tolerance and risk management cost investments.

Both processes should be conducted together to have a complete overview of the organization’s risk acceptance and resilience, which can then be used to make more informed business decisions.

Learn more about how to perform a cyber risk analysis >

2. Identify Roles and Responsibilities

A disaster recovery plan needs to define the roles and responsibilities of the disaster recovery team or those within the organization responsible for the following processes:

  • Maintaining business continuity systems
  • Incident reporting to executive management, stakeholders, and related authorities
  • Who is in charge of overseeing the crisis and ensuring recovery
  • Team members’ roles in securing and protecting critical business components
  • Contacting third-party vendors or affected parties
  • Liaising with people external to the organization, such as customers, clients, and the press

3. Take Inventory of Assets

To properly manage a cyber incident or cyber threat , it’s important to understand the complete overview of the assets an organization handles. Taking inventory of the organization’s IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, applications, and critical data allows the organization to prioritize the most valuable systems and assets to protect.

Asset inventory should be updated regularly in the disaster recovery plan, especially if there are large changes to the asset management strategy. To facilitate prioritization, the inventory should categorize inventory as follows:

  • Critical assets essential to business operations
  • Important assets, such as applications used once or more per day and whose absence would disrupt typical operations
  • Unimportant assets, which are accessed or used less than once per day

Sensitive data , such as payment details, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information (PII) , can also be subject to compliance requirements . A disaster recovery plan needs to address how critical data is handled during a crisis or disaster in relation to compliance standards.

In addition, it’s important to note that the people with the authority to access sensitive data during normal business operations may differ from those who can access sensitive data during a disaster to ensure its safety.

4. Disaster Recovery Sites

Disaster recovery sites refer to where the company’s assets are located and where they will be moved if disaster strikes. Businesses need to have the sites defined ahead of time should an incident occur, whether the assets are physical or digital.

The three types of recovery sites are as follows:

  • Cold sites — Used to store data backups but cannot immediately run systems.
  • Warm sites — Functional data centers that allow access to critical systems. However, up-to-date customer data may be unavailable.
  • Hot sites — Functioning data centers that contain IT equipment and personnel to use it, as well as up-to-date customer data.

In the event that businesses are still using physical documents and storage media that are still important to business operations, the disaster recovery plan also needs to include where these physical copies will be stored offsite in case of disaster.

As good practice, recovery sites and data backups should be updated regularly. Organizations should implement backup procedures at least a few times per week to ensure business continuity.

5. Disaster Recovery Testing

Much a fire or earthquake drill, it’s necessary to test the disaster recovery procedure and its procedures at least once a year. The plan should be tested in a simulated situation that varies in complexity to ensure protection against all threats.

Testing phases should accomplish the following steps:

  • Identify faults and inconsistencies within the plan that can lead to potential miscommunication or improper incident management
  • Ensure all relevant team members know their specific roles, duties, and workloads
  • Simulate a live cyber attack or other disasters
  • Test success of recovery site upload and backup processes

Regular testing should include updates to the plan and any new threats or vulnerabilities that pose a risk to critical assets.

6. Communication or Reporting Plan

Communicating information about the nature, impact, and cause of a disaster can be critical to the company’s reputation. Timely communication and incident reporting may also be required to comply with cybersecurity regulations . Therefore, the disaster recovery plan needs to define who will deliver what information to whom in the event of a disaster.

Parties that need to be kept up to date will include any or all of the following:

  • Stakeholders or investors
  • Executive management
  • Staff and employees
  • Relevant third-party vendors
  • Governing authorities
  • Customers and clients
  • Media outlets and press
  • Legal counsel

To ensure that communication is clear and prompt, the plan should outline who has primary communication responsibilities and which communication channels they should use.

7. Minimum Physical Facility Requirements

A part of the disaster recovery plan should include the minimum physical facilities a business needs to operate if its usual facility is rendered unusable by a disaster, such as an earthquake. Minimum physical facility requirements should include how much space is required, where it needs to be located, and what equipment is required.

8. RTO and RPO

As part of the disaster recovery planning process, businesses also need to define its RTO and RPO as part of its recovery strategy:

  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) - A business’s RTO is how long it can tolerate an interruption to normal operations. This can be anything from a few minutes to many hours, depending on the nature of the business.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) - The RPO refers to how much data the organization can stand to lose and is normally measured in time, such as an hour of data or 24 hours of data. A business that backs up once daily considers its RPO 24 hours.

Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Ultimately, the aim of a thorough disaster recovery plan is to facilitate faster response and smoother restoration if disaster strikes, such as a data breach or cyber attack that results in data loss or downtime .

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and human error in the information technology (IT) sphere involving malware like ransomware , affected businesses are seeing rising costs and damages due to poor recovery execution and extended downtimes. It’s imperative to have strong disaster recovery processes as part of the entire business strategy

  • Lower Cyber Insurance Premiums - The modern threat landscape is such that more businesses require cyber insurance to protect themselves in case of a severe cyber attack. The cyber liability insurance industry has reached a point where it can no longer insure all businesses unless they have clearly defined security programs that minimize its overall risk. Having a disaster recovery plan can significantly lower the overall risk profile of a business and thus lower the associated cyber liability insurance premiums .
  • Fewer Recovery Costs - Formal policies and procedures demonstrating a firm’s preparedness for unplanned events can also lower costs during a data breach by helping team members respond to the issues, shortening the data breach lifecycle. The more time that is spent responding to the disaster can lead to increased damages and loss of business.
  • Minimal Penalties - In heavily-regulated sectors like healthcare or public entities, penalties for a data breach and non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations can be costly. The longer a data breach lasts, the more significant the potential penalties can be for non-compliance. A business with a disaster recovery plan will likely recover far more quickly than a company without one.
  • Minimal Business Interruption - Anything facilitating restoring technology will reduce costs for the organization if an unplanned incident interrupts operations. An excellent IT disaster recovery plan can differentiate between minimal impact and complete operational shutdown. When a cyber attack or another incident interrupts critical services, organizations must do all they can to restore technology and normal business processes as quickly as possible.

What Is a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)?

A DRaaS provider is a third-party provider that uses cloud technology to facilitate rapid restoration of data servers and applications in case of an emergency or disaster.

A third-party solution provider’s security policies and procedures will impact data and database recovery, so it’s highly recommended to work with a trusted vendor that includes data protection as a core part of their offering. Subscribers should also consider the capacity of the provider to ensure it can handle the data transfer required for backing up and restoring the business’s information systems effectively.

Cloud disaster recovery solutions can have the following benefits for modern businesses.

  • Connectivity - One of the benefits of DRaaS is that restorations can be initiated from any location using various kinds of computers, which is ideal in a disaster scenario that may affect physical locations and data. It makes sense to use a provider in another region to avoid the likelihood of the DRaaS provider being affected by the same physical disaster as the subscriber. This way, a business affected by a geographically-specific disaster can use cloud services to create a functional data center in a new location to restore its applications and customer data.
  • Instant Mirroring - Another benefit of DRaaS is that they mirror data changes instantly. This cloud service creates a backup database server that copies the master database server created on the fly. With such a system, restoration can be performed from a point seconds before an outage.
  • Cost-Effective - For many organizations, migrating to cloud services for data management and disaster recovery processes is a cost-effective contingency plan for disruptive events. Excellent cloud service DR providers provide around-the-clock data protection and data management , keeping software up-to-date and monitoring the network to prevent data breaches in the first place. They can also respond quickly and automatically in the event of a disaster.

Reviewed by

Kaushik Sen

Kaushik Sen

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Illustration with collage of pictograms of computer monitor, server, clouds, dots

Disaster recovery (DR) consists of IT technologies and best practices designed to prevent or minimize data loss and business disruption resulting from catastrophic events—everything from equipment failures and localized power outages to cyberattacks, civil emergencies, criminal or military attacks and natural disasters.

Many businesses—especially small- and mid-sized organizations—neglect to develop a reliable, practicable disaster recovery plan. Without such a plan, they have little protection from the impact of significantly disruptive events.

Infrastructure failure can cost as much as  USD 100,000 per hour  (link resides outside IBM), and critical application failure costs can range from USD 500,000 to USD 1 million per hour. Many businesses cannot recover from such losses. More than 40% of small businesses will not re-open after experiencing a disaster, and among those that do, an additional 25% will fail within the first year after the crisis. Disaster recovery planning can dramatically reduce these risks.

Disaster recovery planning involves strategizing, planning, deploying appropriate technology, and continuous testing. Maintaining backups of your data is a critical component of disaster recovery planning, but a backup and recovery process alone does not constitute a full disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery also involves ensuring that adequate storage and compute is available to maintain robust failover and failback procedures.  Failover  is the process of offloading workloads to backup systems so that production processes and end-user experiences are disrupted as little as possible.  Failback  involves switching back to the original primary systems.

Read our article to learn more information about  the important distinction between backup and disaster recovery planning .

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Business continuity planning creates systems and processes to ensure that all areas of your enterprise will be able to maintain essential operations or be able to resume them as quickly as possible in the event of a crisis or emergency. Disaster recovery planning is the subset of business continuity planning that focuses on recovering IT infrastructure and systems.

Business impact analysis

The creation of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan begins with business impact analysis. When performing this analysis, you’ll create a series of detailed disaster scenarios that can then be used to predict the size and scope of the losses you’d incur if certain business processes were disrupted. What if your customer service call center was destroyed by fire, for instance? Or an earthquake struck your headquarters?

This will allow you to identify the areas and functions of the business that are the most critical and enable you to determine how much downtime each of these critical functions could tolerate. With this information in hand, you can begin to create a plan for how the most critical operations could be maintained in various scenarios.

IT disaster recovery planning should follow from and support business continuity planning. If, for instance, your business continuity plan calls for customer service representatives to work from home in the aftermath of a call center fire, what types of hardware, software, and IT resources would need to be available to support that plan?

Risk analysis

Assessing the likelihood and potential consequences of the risks your business faces is also an essential component of disaster recovery planning. As cyberattacks and ransomware become more prevalent, it’s critical to understand the general cybersecurity risks that all enterprises confront today as well as the risks that are specific to your industry and geographical location.

For a variety of scenarios, including natural disasters, equipment failure, insider threats, sabotage, and employee errors, you’ll want to evaluate your risks and consider the overall impact on your business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What financial losses due to missed sales opportunities or disruptions to revenue-generating activities would you incur?
  • What kinds of damage would your brand’s reputation undergo? How would customer satisfaction be impacted?
  • How would employee productivity be impacted? How many labor hours might be lost?
  • What risks might the incident pose to human health or safety?
  • Would progress towards any business initiatives or goals be impacted? How?

Prioritizing applications

Not all workloads are equally critical to your business’s ability to maintain operations, and downtime is far more tolerable for some applications than it is for others. Separate your systems and applications into three tiers, depending on how long you could stand to have them be down and how serious the consequences of data loss would be.

  • Mission-critical:  Applications whose functioning is essential to your business’s survival.
  • Important:  Applications for which you could tolerate relatively short periods of downtime.
  • Non-essential:  Applications you could temporarily replace with manual processes or do without.

Documenting dependencies

The next step in disaster recovery planning is creating a complete inventory of your hardware and software assets. It’s essential to understand critical application interdependencies at this stage. If one software application goes down, which others will be affected?

Designing resiliency—and disaster recovery models—into systems as they are initially built is the best way to manage application interdependencies. It’s all too common in today’s  microservices -based architectures to discover processes that can’t be initiated when other systems or processes are down, and vice versa. This is a challenging situation to recover from, and it’s vital to uncover such problems when you have time to develop alternate plans for your systems and processes—before an actual disaster strikes.

Establishing recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, and recovery consistency objectives

By considering your risk and business impact analyses, you should be able to establish objectives for how long you’d need it to take to bring systems back up, how much data you could stand to use, and how much data corruption or deviation you could tolerate.

Your recovery time objective (RTO) is the maximum amount of time it should take to restore application or system functioning following a service disruption.

Your recovery point objective (RPO) is the maximum age of the data that must be recovered in order for your business to resume regular operations. For some businesses, losing even a few minutes’ worth of data can be catastrophic, while those in other industries may be able to tolerate longer windows.

A recovery consistency objective (RCO) is established in the service-level agreement (SLA) for continuous data protection services. It is a metric that indicates how many inconsistent entries in business data from recovered processes or systems are tolerable in disaster recovery situations, describing business data integrity across complex application environments.

Regulatory compliance issues

All disaster recovery software and solutions that your enterprise have established must satisfy any data protection and security requirements that you’re mandated to adhere to. This means that all data backup and failover systems must be designed to meet the same standards for ensuring data confidentiality and integrity as your primary systems.

At the same time, several regulatory standards stipulate that all businesses must maintain disaster recovery and/or business continuity plans. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), for instance, requires all publicly held firms in the U.S. to maintain copies of all business records for a minimum of five years. Failure to comply with this regulation (including neglecting to establish and test appropriate data backup systems) can result in significant financial penalties for companies and even jail time for their leaders.

Choosing technologies

Backups serve as the foundation upon which any solid disaster recovery plan is built. In the past, most enterprises relied on tape and spinning disks (HDD) for backups, maintaining multiple copies of their data and storing at least one at an offsite location.

In today’s always-on digitally transforming world, tape backups in offsite repositories often cannot achieve the RTOs necessary to maintain business-critical operations. Architecting your own disaster recovery solution involves replicating many of the capabilities of your production environment and will require you to incur costs for support staff, administration, facilities, and infrastructure. For this reason, many organizations are turning to cloud-based backup solutions or full-scale Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) providers.

Choosing recovery site locations

Building your own disaster recovery  data center  involves balancing several competing objectives. On the one hand, a copy of your data should be stored somewhere that’s geographically distant enough from your headquarters or office locations that it won’t be affected by the same seismic events, environmental threats, or other hazards as your main site. On the other hand, backups stored offsite always take longer to restore from than those located on-premises at the primary site, and network latency can be even greater across longer distances.

Continuous testing and review

Simply put, if your disaster recovery plan has not been tested, it cannot be relied upon. All employees with relevant responsibilities should participate in the disaster recovery test exercise, which may include maintaining operations from the failover site for a period of time.

If performing comprehensive disaster recovery testing is outside your budget or capabilities, you can also schedule a “tabletop exercise” walkthrough of the test procedures, though you should be aware that this kind of testing is less likely to reveal anomalies or weaknesses in your DR procedures—especially the presence of previously undiscovered application interdependencies—than a full test.

As your hardware and software assets change over time, you’ll want to be sure that your disaster recovery plan gets updated as well. You’ll want to periodically review and revise the plan on an ongoing basis.

The IBM Knowledge Center provides an  example of a disaster recovery plan .

Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is one of the most popular and fast-growing managed IT service offerings available today. Your vendor will document RTOs and RPOs in a service-level agreement (SLA) that outlines your downtime limits and application recovery expectations.

DRaaS vendors typically provide cloud-based failover environments. This model offers significant cost savings compared with maintaining redundant dedicated hardware resources in your own data center. Contracts are available in which you pay a fee for maintaining failover capabilities plus the per-use costs of the resources consumed in a disaster recovery situation. Your vendor will typically assume all responsibility for configuring and maintaining the failover environment.

Disaster recovery service offerings differ from vendor to vendor. Some vendors define their offering as a comprehensive, all-in-one solution, while others offer piecemeal services ranging from single application restoration to full data center replication in the cloud. Some offerings may include disaster recovery planning or testing services, while others will charge an additional consulting fee for these offerings.

Be sure that any enterprise software applications you rely on are supported, as are any public cloud providers that you’re working with. You’ll also want to ensure that application performance is satisfactory in the failover environment, and that the failover and failback procedures have been well tested.

If you have already built an on-premises disaster recovery (DR) solution, it can be challenging to evaluate the costs and benefits of maintaining it versus moving to a monthly DRaaS subscription instead.

Most on-premises DR solutions will incur costs for hardware, power, labor for maintenance and administration, software, and network connectivity. In addition to the upfront capital expenditures involved in the initial setup of your DR environment, you’ll need to budget for regular software upgrades. Because your DR solution must remain compatible with your primary production environment, you’ll want to ensure that your DR solution has the same software versions. Depending upon the specifics of your licensing agreement, this might effectively double your software costs.

Not only can moving to a DRaaS subscription reduce your hardware and software expenditures, it can lower your labor costs by moving the burden of maintaining the failover site to the vendor.

If you’re considering third-party DRaaS solutions, you’ll want to make sure that the vendor has the capacity for cross-regional multi-site backups. If a significant weather event like a hurricane impacted your primary office location, would the failover site be far enough away to remain unaffected by the storm? Also, would the vendor have adequate capacity to meet the combined needs of all its customers in your area if many were impacted at the same time? You’re trusting your DRaaS vendor to meet RTOs and RPOs in times of crisis, so look for a service provider with a strong reputation for reliability.

Read “ Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) vs. Disaster Recovery (DR): Which Do You Need? ” for a comparative overview of both solutions.

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How to Write a Disaster Recovery Plan + Template

Table of Contents

What is a disaster recovery plan?

Disaster recovery plan vs business continuity plan, what are the measures included in a disaster recovery plan, how to write a disaster recovery plan, disaster recovery plan template, disaster recovery plan examples, how secureframe can help your disaster recovery planning efforts.

disaster recovery plan benefits

  • July 27, 2023

Anna Fitzgerald

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Secureframe

Cavan Leung

Senior Compliance Manager at Secureframe

A study found that only 54% of organizations have a company-wide disaster recovery plan in place. This percentage is even lower for government IT departments (36%) despite the proliferation of ransomware and other cyber threats. 

Not having a documented disaster recovery plan can seriously hamper an organization’s ability to recover lost data and restore its critical systems. This can result in significantly higher financial losses and reputational damage.

To help ensure your organization can recover from disaster as swiftly and easily as possible, learn what exactly a disaster recovery plan is and how to write one. Plus, find some examples and a template to help get you started.

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a document that outlines the procedures an organization will follow to recover and restore its critical systems, operations, and data after a disaster. Examples of disasters that may disrupt the continuity of product or service delivery are natural disasters, cyber attacks, hardware failures, and human errors. 

In planning for disaster recovery, what is the ultimate goal?

The ultimate goal of disaster recovery planning is to minimize the impact of a disaster, and ensure business continuity.

Having a disaster recovery plan in place that is well-designed and regularly maintained can help organizations:

  • minimize downtime
  • reduce financial losses
  • protect critical data
  • resume operations quickly 
  • provide peace of mind for employees

A disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan both take a proactive approach to minimize the impact of a disaster before it occurs and may even be combined into a single document as a result. 

However, the key difference is that a disaster recovery plan focuses on limiting abnormal or inefficient system function by restoring it as quickly as possible after a disaster, whereas a business continuity plan focuses on limiting operational downtime by maintaining operations during a disaster. 

In other words, a disaster recovery strategy helps to ensure an organization returns to full functionality after a disaster occurs whereas a business continuity plan helps an organization to keep operating at some capacity during a disaster. That’s why organizations need to have both documents in place, or need to incorporate disaster recovery strategies as part of their overall business continuity plan. 

Recommended reading

disaster recovery plan benefits

How to Write a Business Continuity Plan & Why It’s Important for a SOC 2 Audit [+ Template]

Just as no two businesses are the same, no two disaster recovery plans are. However, they do typically include some common measures. These are detailed below.

  • Data backup and recovery

A section of a DRP should be dedicated to data backup and recovery. This should list backup methods, frequency of backups, the storage locations, and the procedures for data restoration.

  • Redundant systems and infrastructure

Another section may explain how the organization implements redundant systems and infrastructure to ensure high availability and minimize downtime if a disaster occurs. This may involve duplicating critical servers, network equipment, power supplies, and storage devices using clustering, load balancing, failover mechanisms, virtualization technologies, or other measures. 

Alternate worksite

A DRP may identify alternative worksites or recovery locations where the organization can operate if the primary site becomes inaccessible. This section should also define procedures and infrastructure needed to quickly transition operations to the identified alternate sites.

  • Communication and notification

Another part of DRP may define communication protocols and notification procedures to ensure communication during and after a disaster. Protocols and procedures typically include:

  • notifying employees, customers, vendors, and stakeholders about the disaster
  • providing updates on recovery progress
  • maintaining contact information for key personnel and emergency services

Recovery objectives

A DRP may set acceptable time frames for recovering systems and data in terms of recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO). These objectives should be based on the criticality of systems and shape recovery strategies accordingly. 

  • RTO : The maximum amount of downtime allowed
  • RPO : The maximum loss of data accepted (measured in time)

disaster recovery plan benefits

The 10 Most Important Cybersecurity Metrics & KPIs for CISOs to Track

Writing and maintaining a disaster recovery plan requires collaboration and coordination among key stakeholders across an organization and can seem intimidating. Below we’ll outline the process step by step to help you get started. 

disaster recovery plan benefits

1. Define the plan’s objectives and scope

To start, define the objectives and scope of your disaster recovery plan.

Objectives may include:

  • safeguarding employees’ lives and company assets
  • making a financial and operational assessment
  • securing data
  • quickly recovering operations

Next, identify what and who the plan applies. Typically, assets utilized by employees and contractors acting on behalf of the company or accessing its applications, infrastructure, systems, or data fall within the scope of the disaster recovery plan. In this case, employees and contractors are required to review and accept the plan. 

2. Perform a risk assessment

Identify potential risks and vulnerabilities that could lead to a disaster, both internal and external to the organization. This should involve evaluating your reliance on external vendors and suppliers for critical services or resources and assessing their own disaster recovery capabilities to ensure they align with your organization's requirements.

3. Perform a business impact analysis

Next, determine the business functions, processes, systems, and data that are essential for your organization's operations. For each critical component, establish recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives. 

4. Define recovery measures and procedures

Define the appropriate measures and step-by-step procedures for disaster recovery based on the risks and business impact you identified. This includes identifying the individuals or teams responsible for recovery tasks, the resources required, and the order of recovery tasks.

As stated above, these recovery tasks may fall into the following categories:

  • Alternative worksite

You may also want to outline emergency procedures. These are the actions that should be taken during and immediately after a disaster occurs, and may include evacuation plans and communication protocols and coordination with emergency services.

5. Conduct testing and training regularly

Regularly test the disaster recovery plan to ensure its effectiveness and identify any potential gaps or weaknesses. Conduct training sessions for employees to familiarize them with their roles and responsibilities during a disaster.

6. Review and update the plan regularly

Review and update the disaster recovery plan periodically to incorporate changes in technology, business operations, and potential risks. Ensure that contact information, system configurations, and other relevant details are up to date.

Use this template to kick off your disaster recovery planning and customize it based on your organization's specific risks and objectives.

disaster recovery plan benefits

Below you can find examples of disaster recovery strategies and procedures from disaster recovery plans created and maintained by universities and other organizations. This should help you in brainstorming and documenting your own recovery strategies and plans for different services, environments, and types of disasters. 

1. IT disaster recovery plan

Southern Oregon University has a comprehensive disaster recovery plan specifically for its IT services because they are so heavily relied upon by faculty, staff, and students. There are disaster recovery processes and procedures outlined for various IT services and infrastructure, including its data center, network infrastructure, enterprise systems, desktop hardware, client applications, classrooms, and labs. 

Some of the IT disaster recovery processes and procedures outlined in the plan are:

  • Secure facility as necessary to prevent personnel injury and further damage to IT systems.
  • Coordinate hardware and software replacement with vendors
  • Verify operational ability of all equipment on-site in the affected area (servers, network equipment, ancillary equipment, etc.). If equipment is not operational, initiate actions to repair or replace as needed.
  • If the data center is not operational or recoverable, contact personnel responsible for the alternate data center and take necessary steps to ready the facility.
  • Retrieve most recent on-site or off-site back-up media for previous three back-ups. Prepare back-up media for transfer to primary or secondary datacenter, as determined during the initial assessment.

2. AWS disaster recovery plan

AWS walks through disaster recovery options in the cloud in this whitepaper . It explains four primary approaches to cloud disaster recovery:

  • Backup and restor e: Backup the data, infrastructure, configuration, and application code of your primary Region and redeploy them in the recovery Region. This is the least costly and complex approach. 
  • Pilot light : Replicate your data from one Region to another and provision a copy of your core workload infrastructure so that you can quickly provision a full scale production environment by switching on and scaling out your application servers if a disaster occurs. This simplifies recovery at the time of a disaster and also minimizes the ongoing cost of disaster recovery by “switching off” some resources until they’re needed.
  • Warm standby : Create and maintain a scaled down, but fully functional, copy of your production environment in another Region. This decreases the time to recovery compared to the pilot light approach, but is more costly because it requires more active resources.  
  • Multi-site active/active : Run your workload simultaneously in multiple Regions so users are able to access your workload in any of the Regions in which it is deployed, which reduces your recovery time to near zero for most disasters. This is the most costly and complex approach. 

3. Data center disaster recovery plan

The University of Iowa also has a comprehensive disaster recovery plan , which includes several processes and procedures for recovering from a disaster that affects its data center. Some of these include: 

  • Have large tarps or plastic sheeting available in the data center ready to cover sensitive electronic equipment in case the building is damaged due to natural disasters like tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.
  • If replacement equipment is required, make every attempt to replicate the current system configuration.
  • If data is lost, then request that the IT department recover it from an off-site backup or cloud deep archive storage.

Secureframe’s automation compliance platform and in-house compliance expertise can help ensure your organization has the policies, controls, and expertise in place to protect systems proactively from business disaster and to recover if they do occur. Request a demo to learn how.

What are the 5 steps of disaster recovery planning?

The five steps of disaster recovery planning are prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. That means when planning, you should identify measures and actions to:

  • avoid or prevent a disaster from occurring
  • reduce the chances of a disaster occurring or the impact of it
  • enhance your ability to respond when a disaster occurs
  • be carried out immediately before, during, and after a disaster
  • restore your business operations as quickly as possible

What are the 4 C's of disaster recovery?

The 4 C's of disaster recovery are communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation. Below are brief definitions of each:

  • Communication  - developing and maintaining effective channels for sharing information before, during, and after disasters
  • Coordination  - aligning actions to other parts of an organization or other organization to prepare for and respond to disasters
  • Cooperation  - working with internal or external parties that share the same goal (ie. responding to and recovering from disasters) and strategies for achieving it
  • Collaboration - partnering with internal or external parties to identify challenges and responsibilities to recover from a disaster as quickly as possible

What are the three types of disaster recovery plans?

Disaster recover plans can be tailored to different services, environments, and types of disasters. So types of disaster recovery plans include ones for IT services, data centers, and cloud environments.

How do you create a good disaster recovery plan?

Creating a good disaster recovery plan requires a few key steps such as:

  • Performing a risk assessment and business impact analysis
  • Setting objectives, including recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO)
  • Creating an inventory of critical assets
  • Defining data backup requirements and recovery strategies
  • Establishing alternate communication methods
  • Assigning specific roles and responsibilities

What are the key elements of a disaster recovery plan?

Key elements of a disaster recovery plan are:

  • Objectives and goals
  • Recovery measures and procedures
  • Testing processes
  • A communication plan
  • Defined disaster recovery stages
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  • Disaster Recovery

What Is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is an organization’s method of regaining access and functionality to its IT infrastructure after events like a natural disaster, cyber attack, or even business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of disaster recovery (DR) methods can be part of a disaster recovery plan . DR is one aspect of business continuity .

disaster recovery plan benefits

Address and Overcome the Top Challenges of Deploying a Disaster Recovery Solution

disaster recovery plan benefits

Disaster Recovery as-aService using VMware Site Recovery with VMware Cloud on AWS

How does disaster recovery work.

Disaster recovery relies upon the replication of data and computer processing in an off-premises location not affected by the disaster. When servers go down because of a natural disaster, equipment failure or cyber attack, a business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up. Ideally, an organization can transfer its computer processing to that remote location as well in order to continue operations. 

5 Top Elements of an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

  • Disaster recovery team : This assigned group of specialists will be responsible for creating, implementing and managing the disaster recovery plan. This plan should define each team member’s role and responsibilities. In the event of a disaster, the recovery team should know how to communicate with each other, employees, vendors, and customers.
  • Risk evaluation : Assess potential hazards that put your organization at risk. Depending on the type of event, strategize what measures and resources will be needed to resume business. For example, in the event of a cyber attack, what data protection measures will the recovery team have in place to respond?
  • Business-critical asset identification : A good disaster recovery plan includes documentation of which systems, applications, data, and other resources are most critical for business continuity, as well as the necessary steps to recover data.
  • Backups : Determine what needs backup (or to be relocated), who should perform backups, and how backups will be implemented. Include a recovery point objective (RPO) that states the frequency of backups and a recovery time objective (RTO) that defines the maximum amount of downtime allowable after a disaster. These metrics create limits to guide the choice of IT strategy, processes and procedures that make up an organization’s disaster recovery plan. The amount of downtime an organization can handle and how frequently the organization backs up its data will inform the disaster recovery strategy.
  • Testing and optimization : The recovery team should continually test and update its strategy to address ever-evolving threats and business needs. By continually ensuring that a company is ready to face the worst-case scenarios in disaster situations, it can successfully navigate such challenges. In planning how to respond to a cyber attack, for example, it’s important that organizations continually test and optimize their security and data protection strategies and have protective measures in place to detect potential security breaches.

How to Build a Disaster Recovery Team

Whether creating a disaster recovery strategy from scratch or improving an existing plan, assembling the right collaborative team of experts is a critical first step. It starts with tapping IT specialists and other key individuals to provide leadership over the following key areas in the event of a disaster:

  • Crisis management: This leadership role commences recovery plans, coordinates efforts throughout the recovery process, and resolves problems or delays that emerge.
  • Business continuity: The expert overseeing this ensures that the recovery plan aligns with the company’s business needs, based on the business impact analysis.
  • Impact assessment and recovery: The team responsible for this area of recovery has technical expertise in IT infrastructure including servers, storage, databases and networks.
  • IT applications: This role monitors which application activities should be implemented based on a restorative plan. Tasks include application integrations, application settings and configuration, and data consistency.

While not necessarily part of the IT department, the following roles should also be assigned to any disaster recovery plan:

  • Executive management: The executive team will need to approve the strategy, policies and budget related to the disaster recovery plan, plus provide input if obstacles arise.
  • Critical business units: A representative from each business unit will ideally provide feedback on disaster recovery planning so that their specific concerns are addressed.

What Are the Types of Disaster Recovery?

Businesses can choose from a variety of disaster recovery methods, or combine several:

  • Back-up: This is the simplest type of disaster recovery and entails storing data off site or on a removable drive. However, just backing up data provides only minimal business continuity help, as the IT infrastructure itself is not backed up.
  • Cold Site: In this type of disaster recovery, an organization sets up a basic infrastructure in a second, rarely used facility that provides a place for employees to work after a natural disaster or fire. It can help with business continuity because business operations can continue, but it does not provide a way to protect or recover important data, so a cold site must be combined with other methods of disaster recovery.
  • Hot Site: A hot site maintains up-to-date copies of data at all times. Hot sites are time-consuming to set up and more expensive than cold sites, but they dramatically reduce down time.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): In the event of a disaster or ransomware attack, a DRaaS provider moves an organization’s computer processing to its own cloud infrastructure, allowing a business to continue operations seamlessly from the vendor’s location, even if an organization’s servers are down. DRaaS plans are available through either subscription or pay-per-use models. There are pros and cons to choosing a local DRaaS provider: latency will be lower after transferring to DRaaS servers that are closer to an organization’s location, but in the event of a widespread natural disaster, a DRaaS that is nearby may be affected by the same disaster.
  • Back Up as a Service: Similar to backing up data at a remote location, with Back Up as a Service, a third party provider backs up an organization’s data, but not its IT infrastructure.
  • Datacenter disaster recovery: The physical elements of a data center can protect data and contribute to faster disaster recovery in certain types of disasters. For instance, fire suppression tools will help data and computer equipment survive a fire. A backup power source will help businesses sail through power outages without grinding operations to a halt. Of course, none of these physical disaster recovery tools will help in the event of a cyber attack.
  • Virtualization: Organizations can back up certain operations and data or even a working replica of an organization’s entire computing environment on off-site virtual machines that are unaffected by physical disasters. Using virtualization as part of a disaster recovery plan also allows businesses to automate some disaster recovery processes, bringing everything back online faster. For virtualization to be an effective disaster recovery tool, frequent transfer of data and workloads is essential, as is good communication within the IT team about how many virtual machines are operating within an organization.
  • Point-in-time copies: Point-in-time copies, also known as point-in-time snapshots, make a copy of the entire database at a given time. Data can be restored from this back-up, but only if the copy is stored off site or on a virtual machine that is unaffected by the disaster.
  • Instant recovery: Instant recovery is similar to point-in-time copies, except that instead of copying a database, instant recovery takes a snapshot of an entire virtual machine .

How to Plan for COVID-19 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

COVID-19 and the resulting global crisis have pushed many companies to support employees working remotely and forced organizations to rethink their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies. With the pandemic in play, even just a network outage can have a significant effect on the business.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Add the risks and potential consequences of infectious diseases to your disaster recovery plan. Although rare on such a global scale, having specific plans for this type of emergency will help ensure they’re handled as smoothly as possible.
  • Make plans for people, not just technology. The results of COVID-19 have shown that for businesses to remain successful employees need support, communication and resources. Plan ways that you will be able to provide these elements even when employees are working from home and may have different or limited access to their normal devices, networks or communication channels.
  • Consider additional cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for more efficient and flexible options for remote work, as well as lessening the reliance on one central data center or main HQ. Make sure your plans include IT redundancy—multiple systems in multiple sites, so that if one system gets compromised, the business remains operational.

What Are the Benefits of Disaster Recovery Software?

No organization can afford to ignore disaster recovery. The two most important benefits of having a disaster plan in place, including effective DR software, are:

  • Cost savings: Planning for potential disruptive events can save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars and even mean the difference between a company surviving a natural disaster or folding.
  • Faster recovery: Depending on the disaster recovery strategy and the types of disaster recovery tools used, businesses can get up and running much faster after a disaster, or even continue operations as if nothing had happened.

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Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery plan definition.

What is a disaster recovery plan? A disaster recovery plan (DRP), disaster recovery implementation plan, or IT disaster recovery plan is a recorded policy and/or process that is designed to assist an organization in executing recovery processes in response to a disaster to protect business IT infrastructure and more generally promote recovery.

The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to comprehensively explain the consistent actions that must be taken before, during, and after a natural or man-made disaster so that the entire team can take those actions. A disaster recovery plan should address both man-made disasters that are intentional, such as fallout from terrorism or hacking, or accidental, such as an equipment failure.

What is a disaster recovery plan ?

Organizations of all sizes generate and manage massive amounts of data, much of it mission critical. The impact of corruption or data loss from human error, hardware failure, malware, or hacking can be substantial. Therefore, it is essential to create a disaster recovery plan for the restoration of business data from a data backup image.

It is most effective to develop an information technology (IT) disaster recovery plan in conjunction with the business continuity plan (BCP). A business continuity plan is a complete organizational plan that consists of five components:

1. Business resumption plan 2. Occupant emergency plan 3. Continuity of operations plan 4. Incident management plan (IMP) 5. Disaster recovery plan

Generally, components one through three do not touch upon IT infrastructure at all. The incident management plan typically establishes procedures and a structure to address cyber attacks against IT systems during normal times, so it does not deal with the IT infrastructure during disaster recovery. For this reason, the disaster recovery plan is the only component of the BCP of interest to IT.

Among the first steps in developing such adisaster recovery strategy is business impact analysis, during which the team should develop IT priorities and recovery time objectives. The team should time technology recovery strategies for restoring applications, hardware, and data to meet business recovery needs.

Every situation is unique and there is no single correct way to develop a disaster recovery plan. However, there are three principal goals of disaster recovery that form the core of most DRPs:

  • prevention, including proper backups, generators, and surge protectors
  • detection of new potential threats, a natural byproduct of routine inspections
  • correction, which might include holding a “lessons learned” brainstorming session and securing proper insurance policies

What should a disaster recovery plan include?

Although specific disaster recovery plan formats may vary, the structure of a disaster recovery plan should include several features:

Goals A statement of goals will outline what the organization wants to achieve during or after a disaster, including the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO). The recovery point objective refers to how much data (in terms of the most recent changes) the company is willing to lose after a disaster occurs. For example, an RPO might be to lose no more than one hour of data, which means data backups must occur at least every hour to meet this objective.

Recovery time objective or RTO refers to the acceptable downtime after an outage before business processes and systems must be restored to operation. For example, the business must be able to return to operations within 4 hours in order to avoid unacceptable impacts to business continuity.

Personnel Every disaster recovery plan must detail the personnel who are responsible for the execution of the DR plan, and make provisions for individual people becoming unavailable.

IT inventory An updated IT inventory must list the details about all hardware and software assets, as well as any cloud services necessary for the company’s operation, including whether or not they are business critical, and whether they are owned, leased, or used as a service.

Backup procedures The DRP must set forth how each data resource is backed up – exactly where, on which devices and in which folders, and how the team should recover each resource from backup.

Disaster recovery procedures These specific procedures, distinct from backup procedures, should detail all emergency responses, including last-minute backups, mitigation procedures, limitation of damages, and eradication of cybersecurity threats.

Disaster recovery sites Any robust disaster recovery plan should designate a hot disaster recovery site. Located remotely, all data can be frequently backed up to or replicated at a hot disaster recovery site — an alternative data center holding all critical systems. This way, when disaster strikes, operations can be instantly switched over to the hot site.

Restoration procedures Finally, follow best practices to ensure a disaster recovery plan includes detailed restoration procedures for recovering from a loss of full systems operations. In other words, every detail to get each aspect of the business back online should be in the plan, even if you start with a disaster recovery plan template. Here are some procedures to consider at each step.

Include not just objectives such as the results of risk analysis and RPOs, RTOs, and SLAs, but also a structured approach for meeting these goals. The DRP must address each type of downtime and disaster with a step-by-step plan, including data loss, flooding, natural disasters, power outages, ransomware, server failure, site-wide outages, and other issues. Be sure to enrich any IT disaster recovery plan template with these critical details.

Create a list of IT staff including contact information, roles, and responsibilities. Ensure each team member is familiar with the company disaster recovery plan before it is needed so that individual team members have the necessary access levels and passwords to meet their responsibilities. Always designate alternates for any emergency, even if you think your team can’t be affected.

Address business continuity planning and disaster recovery by providing details about mission-critical applications in your DRP. Include accountable parties for both troubleshooting any issues and ensuring operations are running smoothly. If your organization will use cloud backup services or disaster recovery services, vendor name and contact information, and a list of authorized employees who can request support during a disaster should be in the plan; ideally the vendor and organizational contacts should know of each other.

Media communication best practices are also part of a robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan. A designated public relations contact and media plan are particularly useful to high profile organizations, enterprises, and users who need 24/7 availability, such as government agencies or healthcare providers. Look for disaster recovery plan examples in your industry or vertical for specific best practices and language.

Benefits of a disaster recovery plan

Obviously, a disaster recovery plan details scenarios for reducing interruptions and resuming operations rapidly in the aftermath of a disaster. It is a central piece of the business continuity plan and should be designed to prevent data loss and enable sufficient IT recovery.

Beyond the clear benefit of improved business continuity under any circumstances, having a company disaster recovery plan can help an organization in several other important ways.

Cost-efficiency Disaster recovery plans include various components that improve cost-efficiency. The most important elements include prevention, detection, and correction, as discussed above. Preventative measures reduce the risks from man-made disasters. Detection measures are designed to quickly identify problems when they do happen, and corrective measures restore lost data and enable a rapid resumption of operations.

Achieving cost-efficiency goals demands regular maintenance of IT systems in their optimal condition, high-level analysis of potential threats, and implementation of innovative cybersecurity solutions. Keeping software updated and systems optimally maintained saves time and is more cost-effective. Adopting cloud-based data management as a part of disaster recovery planning can further reduce the costs of backups and maintenance.

Increased productivity Designating specific roles and responsibilities along with accountability as a disaster recovery plan demands increases effectiveness and productivity in your team. It also ensures redundancies in personnel for key tasks, improving sick day productivity, and reducing the costs of turnover.

Improved customer retention Customers do not easily forgive failures or downtime, especially if they result in loss of sensitive data. Disaster recovery planning helps organizations meet and maintain a higher quality of service in every situation. Reducing the risks your customers face from data loss and downtime ensures they receive better service from you during and after a disaster, shoring up their loyalty.

Compliance Enterprise business users, financial markets, healthcare patients, and government entities, all rely on availability, uptime, and the disaster recovery plans of important organizations. These organizations in turn rely on their DRPs to stay compliant with industry regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA.

Scalability Planning disaster recovery allows businesses to identify innovative solutions to reduce the costs of archive maintenance, backups, and recovery. Cloud-based data storage and related technologies enhance and simplify the process and add flexibility and scalability.

The disaster recovery planning process can reduce the risk of human error, eliminate superfluous hardware, and streamline the entire IT process. In this way, the planning process itself becomes one of the advantages of disaster recovery planning, streamlining the business, and rendering it more profitable and resilient before anything ever goes wrong.

Ways to develop a disaster recovery plan

There are several steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. Although these may vary somewhat based on the organization, here are the basic disaster recovery plan steps:

Risk assessment First, perform a risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) that addresses many potential disasters. Analyze each functional area of the organization to determine possible consequences from middle of the road scenarios to “worst-case” situations, such as total loss of the main building. Robust disaster recovery plans set goals by evaluating risks up front, as part of the larger business continuity plan, to allow critical business operations to continue for customers and users as IT addresses the event and its fallout.

Consider infrastructure and geographical risk factors in your risk analysis. For example, the ability of employees to access the data center in case of a natural disaster, whether or not you use cloud backup, and whether you have a single site or multiple sites are all relevant here. Be sure to include this information, even if you’re working from a sample disaster recovery plan.

Evaluate critical needs Next, establish priorities for operations and processing by evaluating the critical needs of each department. Prepare written agreements for selected alternatives, and include details specifying all special security procedures, availability, cost, duration, guarantee of compatibility, hours of operation, what constitutes an emergency, non-mainframe resource requirements, system testing, termination conditions, a procedure notifying users of system changes, personnel requirements, specs on required processing hardware and other equipment, a service extension negotiation process, and other contractual issues.

Set disaster recovery plan objectives Create a list of mission-critical operations to plan for business continuity, and then determine which data, applications, equipment, or user accesses are necessary to support those functions. Based on the cost of downtime, determine each function’s recovery time objective (RTO). This is the target amount of time in hours, minutes, or seconds an operation or application can be offline without an unacceptable business impact.

Determine the recovery point objective (RPO), or the point in time back to which you must recover the application. This is essentially the amount of data the organization can afford to lose.

Assess any service level agreements (SLAs) that your organization has promised to users, executives, or other stakeholders.

Collect data and create the written document Collect data for your plan using pre-formatted forms as needed. Data to collect in this stage may include:

  • lists (critical contact information list, backup employee position listing, master vendor list, master call list, notification checklist)
  • inventories (communications equipment, data center computer hardware, documentation, forms, insurance policies, microcomputer hardware and software, office equipment, off-site storage location equipment, workgroup hardware, etc.)
  • schedules for software and data files backup/retention
  • procedures for system restore/recovery
  • temporary disaster recovery locations
  • other documentation, inventories, lists, and materials

Organize and use the collected data in your written, documented plan.

Test and revise Next, develop criteria and procedures for testing the plan. This is essential to ensure the organization has adopted compatible, feasible backup procedures and facilities, and to identify areas that should be modified. It also allows the team to be trained, and proves the value of the DRP and ability of the organization to withstand disasters.

Finally, test the plan based on the criteria and procedures. Conduct an initial dry run or structured walk-through test and correct any problems, ideally outside normal operational hours. Types of business disaster recovery plan tests include: disaster recovery plan checklist tests, full interruption tests, parallel tests, and simulation tests.

The recovery point objective, or RPO, refers to how much data (in terms of the most recent changes) the company is willing to lose after a disaster occurs. For example, an RPO might be to lose no more than one hour of data, which means data backups must occur at least every hour to meet this objective.

The RPO answers this question: “How much data could be lost without significantly impacting the business?”

Example: If the RPO for a business is 20 hours and the last available good copy of data after an outage is 18 hours old, we are still within the RPO’s parameters.

In other words, the RTO answers the question: “How much time after notification of business process disruption should it take to recover?”

To compare RPO and RTO , consider that RPO means a variable amount of data that would need to be re-entered after a loss or would be lost altogether during network downtime. In contrast, RTO refers to how much real time can elapse before the disruption unacceptably impedes normal business operations.

It is important to expose the gap between actuals and objectives set forth in the disaster recovery plan. Only business disruption and disaster rehearsals can expose actuals—specifically Recovery Point Actual (RPA) and Recovery Time Actual (RTA). Refining these differences brings the plan up to speed.

Strategies and tools for a disaster recovery plan

The right strategies and tools help implement a disaster recovery plan.

Traditional on-premises recovery strategies The IT team should develop disaster recovery strategies for IT applications, systems, and data. This includes desktops, data, networks, connectivity, servers, wireless devices, and laptops. Identify IT resources that support time-sensitive business processes and functions so their recovery times match.

Information technology systems require connectivity, data, hardware, and software. The entire system may fail due to a single component, so recovery strategies should anticipate the loss of one or more of these system components:

  • Secure, climate-controlled computer room environment with backup power supply
  • Connectivity to a service provider
  • Hardware such as desktop and laptop computers, networks, wireless devices and peripherals, and servers
  • Software applications such as electronic mail, electronic data interchange, enterprise resource management, and office productivity

Data and restoration For business applications that cannot tolerate downtime, actual parallel computing, data mirroring, or multiple data center synchronization is possible yet costly. Other solutions for mission critical business applications and sensitive data include cloud backup and cloud-native disaster recovery, which reduce the need for expensive hardware and IT infrastructure.

Internal recovery strategies Some enterprises store data at multiple facilities and configure hardware to run similar applications from data center to data center when needed. Assuming off-site data backup or data mirroring are taking place, processing can continue and data can be restored at an alternate site under these circumstances. However, this is a costly solution, and one that demands an internal solution that is itself infallible.

Cloud-based disaster recovery strategies Cloud-based vendors offer Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), which are essentially “hot sites” for IT disaster recovery hosted in the cloud. DRaaS leverages the cloud to provide fully configured recovery sites that mirror the applications in the local data center. This allows users a more immediate response, allowing them the ability to recover critical applications in the cloud, keeping them ready for use at the time of a disaster.

Vendors can host and manage applications, data security services, and data streams, enabling access to information via web browser at the primary business site or other sites. These vendors can typically enhance cybersecurity because their ongoing monitoring for outages offers data filtering and detection of malware threats. If the vendor detects an outage at the client site, they hold all client data automatically until the system is restored. In this sense, the cloud is essential to security planning and disaster recovery.

Does Druva offer a cloud disaster recovery plan ?

With Druva’s cloud-native disaster recovery plan, workloads on-premises or in the cloud back up directly to the Druva Cloud Platform, built on AWS. This eliminates recovery complexities by enabling automated runbook execution and one-click disaster recovery. Druva’s cloud-native disaster recovery includes failover and failback, either back to on-premises systems or to any AWS region or account without hardware, a managed DR site, or excessive administration.

Watch the video below for a demo, and discover Druva's innovative one-click solutions for on-premises and cloud workloads on the disaster recovery page of the website .

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Minimizing Downtime With a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

Minimizing Downtime With a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

Preparing for recovery starts long before a disaster occurs. Use this checklist to help plan ahead to minimize disruptions and downtime from any business disaster.


  • Checklist Infographic

13-Step Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

When a disaster strikes—whether it’s a crippling ransomware event or a destructive natural disaster—a smooth recovery process is critical to getting back on your feet. But that recovery doesn’t simply unfold as soon as the storm recedes. Rapid operational recovery starts with planning long before the disaster even occurs.

Before Hurricane Michael hit Panama City in 2018, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., thought they were thoroughly prepared for the storm and recovery. “We have a really extensive hurricane preparedness plan across all of our coastal locations,” explains Gianetta Jones, Vice President & Chief People Officer. But the Category 5 storm caused severe damage to cell phone infrastructure that the Coca-Cola team was not ready for. Gianetta told us on The Employee Safety Podcast , “We had to pivot and purchased several very expensive satellite phones for our operators that were local to be able to communicate with us at the corporate office.”

Flexibility is necessary in disaster recovery, as disasters hardly follow a predictable plan. But the right preparation can make it possible to adapt and maximize your time and resources through recovery. A comprehensive disaster recovery plan is not just a “good-to-have” safety net; it serves as a roadmap for resuming operations efficiently and effectively, minimizing the impact on your business and clients. And a great way to get started on your disaster recovery planning process (or to review and reassess your standing plan) is with a disaster recovery plan checklist.

Whether you’re facing natural calamities, cyberattacks, or technological failures, this checklist will guide you through establishing robust protocols to protect your assets, data, and your operational continuity.

Download Our Business Continuity Checklist

disaster recovery plan benefits

1. Assess the risks and impacts

Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential disasters and emergencies and look for vulnerabilities. Then, perform a detailed business impact analysis to understand the potential impact of disasters on your business operations. These assessments will help you determine what disasters you must prepare for and what recovery might be necessary.

2. Coordinate with departments and identify stakeholders

Engage all internal departments to gather input and ensure comprehensive coverage. In particular, you’ll want to work with teams involved in emergency preparedness, IT, business continuity, security, and any other function that may be impacted by the event. Additionally, determine any stakeholders, internal and external, crucial to the recovery processes.

3. Review past emergencies

Analyze any previous incidents your organization has been through to learn from past emergencies and refine your current planning efforts. You can also look at organizations similar in size and industry to understand how they have experienced disasters.

4. Assemble the leadership team

The disaster recovery team members will be dedicated to managing the disaster recovery process, though not necessarily executing the entire disaster recovery plan themselves. They will serve as important leaders and decision-makers throughout the process.

5. Document systems and processes

Thoroughly record all critical business systems and processes. This might include software applications, physical items in your facility, digital systems, on-site and off-site resources, or processes vital to your operations. If it is something that a disaster might impact, it should be considered in this step.

Once you have your list, do the following for each item:

For example, when building an IT disaster recovery plan, you’ll want to document all your IT systems, identify the most critical pieces of IT infrastructure, and arrange for data backups, secondary data centers, and other data protection for any critical data that may be impacted.

6. Analyze your recovery needs

Perform a detailed recovery analysis for each type of disaster that could impact the business. Include the following steps in this analysis:

7. Set up your recovery plan templates

If you are using a disaster recovery plan template, you’ll want to make copies of the template pages to fill out. You want a tailored recovery plan for each type of disaster, so multiple versions of the template are a must.

8. Assign personnel

Identify and document all personnel who will be involved in each recovery and response plan. Write down their roles and responsibilities within the recovery efforts and contact information.

9. Establish the activation criteria

Set clear criteria for when to activate the disaster recovery plan. Clarify the turning point between disaster response procedures and disaster recovery, so you don’t hesitate in the event of a disaster.

10. Write the recovery plan

The previous disaster recovery checklist stages prepare you to document your plan. Detail the specific steps and strategies to recover from each disaster you may face.

11. List resources and related documents

Document all the resources required for the recovery plan and their locations. Include links or references to any related plans and supportive documentation. This might include your business continuity plan , risk assessments from earlier in the process, or documentation for a specific recovery strategy.

12. Develop a communication plan

Communication is critical to recovery, so ensure your plan includes a clear process for reaching your employees, stakeholders, and external resources. Design a comprehensive emergency communication plan detailing:

13. Evaluate your response

Don’t make the mistake of building out your disaster recovery plan and assuming it can stay the same year after year. Not only are the disaster scenarios you face likely to change, but your organization will also grow and change; what worked for recovery at one point won’t necessarily work weeks, months, or years later. Regularly test, evaluate, and update the disaster recovery plan to ensure it still meets your business needs over time.

Planning for Resilience Through Operational Failback

With the right plan in place, recovery doesn’t have to feel like a disaster in and of itself. Develop a comprehensive disaster recovery plan with this checklist to keep your whole team on the same page and align their efforts.

Unlike an IT system failback, to recover your business operations, you often need to build them back up one by one. Following all 13 steps, you can ensure you don’t miss a critical system in your DR plan, and you minimize the effort it takes to quickly and confidently return to normal operations.

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What Are The Benefits Of Creating A Business Disaster Recovery Plan

What are the benefits of creating a business disaster recovery plan  .

Table of Contents

The biggest benefit of creating a disaster recovery plan is to ensure business continuity after a disaster. It is a known fact that the fallout of disasters can be devastating to a business.

Whether caused by natural events, hacking or human errors, you’re likely to incur major losses without a disaster recovery plan. 

More than 90% of businesses that experience data loss will file for bankruptcy within a year. Further, more than 40% of companies that lack a disaster recovery plan will fold up after a disaster. 

In this post, we’ll explain the benefits of a disaster recovery plan and how to create one for your business. 

What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of procedures that helps a business with proactive support so they can recover after experiencing an unexpected event. In the end, the organization can continue to carry out its functions and projects. 

A DRP is critical for every business and makes up an integral part of a business continuity plan (BCP). 

To create a DRP, you will have to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA). These are extensive analyses of all your business operations and continuity needs.

You will then get an evaluation of the necessary areas you need to focus on and the overall risks you need to manage.

A DRP also helps you meet compliance requirements for privacy legislation.. 

Benefits of Disaster Recovery

  • Reduction of the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of your business. RTO is the maximum time your business can use to recover from a disaster. While RPO is the maximum data your business can afford to lose.
  • Revenue improvement by reducing the cost of possible damage due to data loss or downtime.
  • Enhances business continuity by lessening the interruption of business operations.
  • Maintains business integrity by preventing compromise and building trust.
  • Acts as a treatment strategy to strengthen network security. 

What Does A Disaster Recovery Plan Include? 

1. To develop a Disaster Recovery Plan, you need to include the following elements:

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

An RTO defines the maximum time your business can survive after a disaster before it resumes its normal functions. While an RPO entails the highest amount of data your business can afford to lose after a data breach. 

2. Records of All Hardware and Software

Keep an updated record of all your IT assets such as hardware devices and software programs. You will need it to create an effective Disaster Recovery Plan. Make sure that the DRP covers the most important IT materials first, before the least necessary ones.

3. Assign Disaster Recovery Processes to Qualified Personnel

Make sure to employ personnel to develop and implement effective disaster recovery processes. The specialists are accountable for detecting and managing unexpected disasters. And also recovering operations and sustaining business continuity.

4. Disaster Recovery Sites And Storage Facility

Disaster recovery sites are backup locations where business assets like data are kept in case of unforeseen events. While a storage facility stores copies of physical documents and storage media. These backup locations should be included when creating a disaster recovery plan.

5. Record of Disaster Response Strategies

This is an integral part of a disaster recovery plan. It contains a detailed action plan with clear measures to be taken at the onset of a sudden disaster. All the strategies aim at minimizing the effect of the disaster, securing data, and ensuring recovery. 

6. Develop Tactics to Ensure Network Security

Network security is one of the most crucial elements of a DRP.  This is because there is an increase in cybercrime, which is one common business disaster. All endpoint devices connected to your network should be protected with efficient security. 

7. Develop An Effective Communication Plan

The effective flow of information in the workplace can go a long way to minimizing the effects of a disaster. A communication plan can improve the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan. It can also build trust and assure your clients. 

8. Conduct Disaster Recovery Plan Tests

Testing your disaster recovery plan is a great way to detect loopholes that may cause it to fail. Make sure to carry out tests at least once after every 6 months to a year. Do not forget to make adjustments and updates to your plan after running tests. 

How To Make A Disaster Recovery Plan 

Having known the importance and elements of a DRP, waste no time creating one for your business. Below are steps to guide you on how to make a DRP:

1. Identify Your Business Risks and Continuity Needs 

Carry out BIA and RA analyses of your business to identify possible risks that can lead to disasters. This is a proactive step that exposes areas of weakness that should be managed. It will also guide you on how to create DRP strategies that will reduce damage and recover your business. 

2. Create A Disaster Recovery Unit/Team

This unit should have skilled personnel who create and implement a DRP for your business. If you’re running a small business, you can employ the number of staff depending on your budget. 

3. Develop DRP Action Plan with Clear Procedures

A DRP should contain clear procedures that are easy to understand and access. Outlined steps should be concise, legible, and well-organized. All threats, risks, and actions should be listed and communicated to all employees. 

4. Audit Hardware and Software Resources

Keep an updated record of all hardware and software devices in your organization. This allows you to keep track of IT activities, identify cyber security threats , and manage network security. Also, an inventory can help you locate and store data in your disaster recovery sites. 

Identify which data is of high priority and get rid of unimportant files. This way you’ll be saving storage space to secure more important data. 

5. Create Recovery Goals

Recovery goals such as RTO and RPO are necessary to help guide you in designing your DRP. When combined with RA and BIA analyses, these goals help to improve your DRP.

6. Test and Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan

After developing your DRP, it is important to test it to know its efficacy. Run tests and exercises with your defined risks and record flaws in your DRP. This way, you will know which areas need fixing and modification. 

How Often Should A Disaster Recovery Plan Be Tested? 

It is recommended that a disaster recovery plan should be tested as often as possible. But the frequency of tests largely depends on the type of business you’re running. 

In general, a disaster recovery plan must be assessed and updated at least once every year. For every major change you make in any unit of your business, you must conduct a disaster recovery test.

A DRP testing combines technology configurations and vendor platforms to test your procedures. Assessment results of DRP tests are generally passed or fail. You can also get certifications after testing your DRP in the vendor platforms.

Asides from using vendor platforms, you can run mini-exercises to improve your DRP. Some of them include testing and restoring data backups, fire and evacuation drills, and call tree exercises. 

You can also take training courses if you want to improve your knowledge of BCP and DRP. This gives you insight into the best way to create and test DRP in your business. 

The importance of testing your disaster recovery plan cannon be overemphasized. It shows you areas in your DRP that need improvements or modifications. Making these updates can reduce losses and even save your business in the long run. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a disaster recovery plan and why is it important.

A disaster recovery plan is a set of measures that helps a business bounce back after an unexpected disaster. It is important to ensure the continuity and success of a business. 

What are the advantages of disaster recovery as a service?

Some of the advantages of disaster recovery are:.

  • Minimize loss caused by disasters
  • Ensuring recovery of business operations
  • Securing valuable business assets
  • Providing compliance with regulations
  • Preventing possible threats and risks to a business

What are the most important aspects of disaster recovery?

The most important aspects of disaster recovery are:

  • Identifying risks
  • Backing up essential data
  • Create an effective communication plan 
  • Set up a disaster recovery team
  • Testing disaster recovery plan 

What’s in a disaster recovery plan?

A disaster recovery plan contains procedures on how to recognize and minimize the effects of threats. Some of these threats are cyber-attacks, natural disasters, human errors, and more.

What is the purpose of business recovery plans?

Business recovery plans are special procedures used by operational teams to restore activities to normal after an unexpected event. 

Final Thoughts On The Benefits of A Business Disaster Recovery Plan

The best benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is that it assures your business of recovery and continuity after a disaster. A DRP is a set of predefined steps that saves your business by helping you bounce back quickly.

This post explains the requirements and steps for creating an effective DRP for your business. After creating one, you would need to regularly test your DRP to improve its efficacy. Computronix is a Managed Service Provider that has been providing disaster recovery services for over 25 years. Contact us today to establish your disaster recover plan before disaster strikes.


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5 benefits of having a business continuity and disaster recovery plan

By Fritz Coyro

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything in the last year, it’s to expect and prepare for the unexpected. 

Organizations without a business continuity (BC) or disaster recovery (DR) plan struggled across the board to redefine how to do business — losing revenue along the way. But organizations that had BC and DR plans — and tested them regularly — made the transition with ease and discovered a new way of doing business. 

How does a business continuity and disaster recovery plan help organizations?

Even in a normal business climate, there are many benefits to implementing a BC/DR plan:

  • Develop muscle memory:  Practicing a disaster scenario via tabletop or with a real exercise develops a kind of “muscle memory” when a situation really does happen. When (not if) an incident does happen, hours and days are shaved off the recovery process. The last thing you want to do in a chaotic time is not have a plan.
  • Meet customer requirements:  Many security frameworks, vendor agreements and customers are requiring organizations to have defined, documented and tested plans in place in the case of a disaster.
  • Meet insurance requirements:  Insurance providers of cyber insurance have started requiring their policy holders to have plans in place before writing a policy. This is becoming standard practice and is increasingly seen as a requirement as opposed to a nice to have.
  • Build resiliency:  No one can plan for everything, but creating and implementing a plan (and practicing with it) can give you the blueprint for surviving one of many threats, from a cyberattack to a natural disaster.
  • Cut down on your recovery time:  When your business is down, it’s not just the revenue loss that affects you. It’s also the hours of employee downtime, additional time spent getting back up and overall impact to your brand reputation. A BC/DR plan can be the difference between losing a few hours of employee salary versus losing a week of it. Sometimes it’s next to impossible to build back the brand image, which can do irreparable damage to the way customers view your business.

The range of challenges that a BC/DR plan can help you overcome is wider than you might think. For example, one of our clients experienced power and communications outages due to a nearby plant, but their BC/DR plans allowed them to switch to alternate processes and keep on running.

What makes up an effective business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan?

Creating a successful BC/DR plan starts with prioritization.

  • By performing a business impact analysis on your applications, you can highlight which are most important to your business environment. For example, if you’re an online retailer, your website and order entry application are going to be tier one in importance to business continuity. 
  • Once you know which business processes and applications are most important and have prioritized them into tiers, step two is determining what is an acceptable amount of time for those applications to be down in the event of a disaster. Since the quicker you want to recover, the more money you’ll spend doing so, you’ll want to focus on getting tier one applications back up and running. A BC/DR plan can define your acceptable timeline, as well as how long you can wait on tier 2 and other applications.
  • After that, you can begin looking at your recovery options, such as which pieces of technology you may need to enable a faster recovery. Cloud-based technology was critical to enabling organizations to quickly transition to remote work during the pandemic, so organizations that had transitioned off of on-premises technology because their BC/DR plans had identified this potential challenge were already one step ahead. 
  • The final piece is often overlooked but no less important. Enabling business continuity or a fast and effective recovery requires periodic testing and keeping documentation up to date. We recommend testing quarterly or annually to help ensure your plan will actually work as designed. And since your business environment is going to change after you’ve created your BC/DR plans, making necessary updates and keeping documents up to date is just as critical.

How Wipfli can help

Wipfli’s business continuity specialists can help you create effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans — from performing a business impact analysis, to helping you develop your plan, to performing testing.  Click here to learn more .

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Why use a disaster recovery solution.

Since last week we have been talking about  Disaster Recovery , an  essential solution to protect data and business information systems from possible disaster , as natural events, human errors, hacking, thefts or other incidents. We have shortly defined the Disaster Recovery service and we have seen how it works and what are the  parameters to be defined  to make the solution as effective as possible.

Today we will talk about the concrete benefits of Disaster Recovery for companies. We have seen that a DR has the main aim of protecting business data and systems, but how? What benefits can the implementation of a DR solution assure? We have identified  8 benefits of Disaster Recovery for companies :

disaster recovery plan benefits

1. Drastic reduction of restore times and lower RTO & RPO Thanks to Disaster Recovery solution you have the warranty of restore systems, services and applications in short times and get significantly lower RTO and RPO. According to the parameters defined from DR plan, you could drastically reduce restore times on the basis of your needs, which would be completely impossible without using a Disaster Recovery solution.

2. Limit the losses due to revenue reduction or other costs By reducing restore times of business information systems, you can limit the losses not only in terms of revenues, but even related to, for example, costs for possible damage caused by downtime and management or technical assistance expenditure.

3. Minimize the interruption of Critical Processes and safeguard business operations Each company has critical processes that must be always active and are vital for the business continuity. Through a Disaster REcovery solution these kinds of processes will be preserved and possible interructions minimized, by allowing a short resume to operations.

4. Avoid to compromise the business reputation As shortly said in the last posts, downtimes caused by unexpected incidents seriously threaten the firms’ reputation. A short recovery avoid to compromise the business strength as well as to cause irreversible damage to the corporate image.

5. Define symplified processes of action to face unexpected situations and predict a controlled resume to operations Thanks to a detailed plan of Disaster Recovery, any action of intervention in case of emergency will be planned previously, by allowing a short restoration, controlled in all its stages.

6. Granular management The DR solution enables to manage replications in a granular way (wich means restoration of data at file level or even smaller units), with tha aim of assuring a complete recovery of data and services.

7. No impact on performance Replication of business infrastructure on one or more Disaster Recovery sites ensure no impact on performance. Indeed, thanks to the activation of Disaster Recovery, systems are constantly online.

8. Control and custmization of your own Disaster Recovery Tha last benefit we talk about is the chance to customize and monitor your own Disaster Recovery. With the personalization of DR solutions, you can choose the replication frequency and establish the best recovery times for your business. In addition, you can control constantly your Disaster Recovery site.

Do you want to know more about our Disaster Recovery solutions?  Reserve a free consulting  with our experts!

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What is a Disaster Recovery Plan and Why is it Important?


Computer usage has increased by more than 1,000% over the last two decades and shows no sign of slowing down. 1 This has made data protection essential, and in a world where digital access is a must, time lost from a system crash can have catastrophic consequences for business processes.

Downtime can result in significant financial losses, with Gartner estimating that it costs the average company around $5,600 a minute. 2 On top of that, downtime and data loss can spell disaster for the remote teams organisations work hard to support. 

So, how do you recover from a disaster quickly and effectively? The better question is, how do you plan for it? Disaster recovery isn’t an easy conversation, and there are certainly other things businesses would prefer to allocate time and resources to, but wise investments now can prevent negative outcomes down the road. 

Today we’re going to take a closer look at benefits of disaster recovery plans, what they are, and what the future of disaster recovery looks like. But first, let’s get a little background.

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What is a disaster recovery plan?

A disaster recovery plan, or DRP, is a formal document created by an organisation that details how to respond to various types of disasters. This will typically include things like power outages, cyber-attacks, including ransomware , and a range of other disruptive events.

The best DRPs go beyond simply restoring data that has been lost. Good plans aim for quick restorations to key systems like:

  • Hardware infrastructure
  • Software applications that may have been damaged
  • HVAC and other key building access systems

Why is a disaster recovery plan important?

A disaster recovery plan is essential in keeping an organisation’s data accessible and protected. If a clear DRP isn’t in place businesses leave themselves open to a number of threats, including:

  • Lost revenue: Financial losses of some kind are inevitable when downtime occurs, but effective planning can reduce the impact significantly.
  • Brand damage: One of the hardest things to recover from as a brand is bad publicity.
  • Dissatisfied customers: Keeping customers happy should be your number one priority — if a customer can’t get what they need from you they will go elsewhere to get it.

Remember, the longer your recovery time after a disaster, the greater the impact to the company.

Benefits of a disaster recovery plan

For now, let’s focus on some of the benefits that your business can access by creating and implementing an effective DRP. These are wide-ranging and numerous, but the most significant include:

  • Cost efficiency: This is where long-term implications outweigh short-term expenditures. It is more cost-effective for your business to mitigate against possible threats rather than accept the costs of prolonged downtime.
  • Increased productivity: Part of a DRP includes regular checks of your entire system. Whether threats are detected or not, there is, at minimum, going to be some actionable insight gleaned from these exercises — insight that will lead to more efficient processes and inevitably increase productivity.
  • Better customer retention: Your customers are your number one priority, and they aren’t going to stick around and wait for you to get it right. A single event could cause a significant loss of customers, but an effective DRP works to prevent this.
  • Flexibilty: An effective plan gives ogranisations the agility they need to respond rapidly in the event of a disaster. On top of that, cloud-based solutions allow organisations to restore critical data and systems to any location.

Now that we know what a disaster recovery plan is and why they are so important to businesses, let’s look at how these plans are created.

What should a disaster recovery plan include?

Whilst disaster recovery plans will inevitably vary from one organisation to another, there are 7 core phases to consider when you come to develop a plan for your organisation. These are:

  • Vulnerability Assessment: You want to begin with a vulnerability assessment that will help you gauge where you are and outline what you may need moving forward.
  • Organisational Impact Assessment: Also referred to as a business impact analysis, or BIA, this assessment is essentially a quantifying exercise into how well prepared your system currently is to withstand threats. This ends in an actionable insight report, personalised to your organisations’ needs.
  • Defining: In this phase you need to outline the specifics (i.e. requirements and continuity, recovery plans and restoration goals)
  • Subplans: This is where brainstorming comes into play. When considering what plans to implement, make sure they fit to the needs of your specific needs as these will vary.
  • Create the DRP: Now the research is over, the budget has been considered and it is time to create your DRP, which includes any subplans created in phase 4 above.
  • Testing: This phase fairly is self-explanatory, but it does include checks at regular intervals, whether a problem is detected or not.
  • Maintenance: Once you’ve spent the time creating a comprehensive plan, regular maintenance of that plan will ensure you’re ready for future growth.

Now that you know how to create a plan and understand why one is needed, it’s time to carefully consider all of your options.

Introducing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

One such option is investing in a third-party service model known as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This approach uses disaster recovery software to mirror your data and applications, either on-site or in a cloud-hosting platform, so they are easily available and accessible for data restoration following a disaster.

In simple terms, this takes the form of a disaster recovery plan tailored to provide you and your organisation with peace of mind by significantly reducing the amount of downtime you experience when an unexpected disaster occurs.

While it is an investment that deserves careful attention, it usually is administered as a service level agreement that offers pay-as-you-go options. Organisations that offer DRaaS services can be a great asset to smaller companies that have limited access to robust IT teams in-house.

There are various benefits that come with DRaaS, but the most crucial to consider are:

  • Rapid recovery: By agreeing on a rapid recovery time objective (RTO) before signing a service user agreement, you guarantee that your business will be backed up and running in a limited period when disaster strikes.
  • Scalability: With DRaaS, you can continually review your needs and make changes whenever deemed necessary.
  • Enhanced security: Disaster Recovery as a Service offers a secure infrastructure backup, especially when you work with providers who offer encrypted data storage.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Set payments for DRaaS will vary in each unique agreement, but these solutions offer significant savings compared with attempting to create an in-house recovery infrastructure.

Get started with DRaaS

Disaster recovery is a perfect example of investing time, money, and resources now to avoid potentially disastrous consequences later on. Putting a plan together can however be a cumbersome and complex process.

While DRaaS looks set to be the future of disaster recovery , it’s important to remember that poor decisions around DRaaS can also negatively impact your business. That’s why, to ensure DRaaS and disaster recovery work for you, you should consider consulting with professionals who can guide you through the decision-making process. 

Through partnerships such as these, you can develop a comprehensive business continuity plan you can rely on, and identify a DRaaS provider that truly meets your organisation’s specific requirements.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Get in touch with Nexstor and start planning today!

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4 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning

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Many disasters can quickly knock out your entire corporate network or database. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, chances are that the consequences will be severe. The National Archives and Records Administration reports that 93 percent of companies that experience data loss and downtime, extending for 10 or more days, will file for bankruptcy within 12 months. In addition, 43 percent of companies that do not have a disaster recovery plan will go out of business in the aftermath of major data loss.

A disaster recovery plan describes scenarios for resuming work quickly and reducing interruptions in the aftermath of a disaster. It is an important part of the business continuity plan and it allows for sufficient IT recovery and the prevention of data loss.

The obvious benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is business continuity, regardless of the circumstances. Having a strategic approach to business continuity can help a company in a number of other important ways.

Here are the top 4 benefits of disaster recovery planning:

1. Cost-Efficiency

Disaster recovery plans have multiple components. The most important elements include:

• Preventative measures that reduce the risk of a man-made disaster taking place

• Detective measures aimed at identifying unwanted events quickly

• Corrective measures that restore lost data and allow for business processes to resume in the aftermath of a disaster

To accomplish these goals, you will have to A) run analysis of potential threats, B) maintain IT systems in optimal condition, and C) seek innovative solutions that will guarantee business continuity and focus on cybersecurity.

On-time updates and opting for more innovative hardware and software can potentially save organizations a lot of money in the long run. Furthermore, an even bigger shift is being seen with more and more organizations adopting a cloud-based data management instead of local storage and operations. This pivot, as a part of disaster recovery planning, can minimize the cost of archive maintenance and the creation of comprehensive backups.

2. Increased Employee Productivity

A disaster recovery plan will have to be executed by the right people. When specific roles and responsibilities are assigned in advance, effectiveness and productivity will both increase.

In some instances, disaster recovery planning can mean having at least two people that are capable of handling the same task. Such redundancies can prove to be incredibly beneficial in the long run. When multiple employees are capable of handling a given task, organizations can benefit from peace of mind pertaining to overall the integrity of the network. Additionally, if someone is out on vacation or on sick leave, there will still be a qualified individual within the organization capable of dealing with the respective task.

Likewise, the same cross-training rule applies when an employee leaves the company. These are just a couple of scenarios that could be anticipated and addressed in a disaster planning strategy.

3. Greater Customer Retention

Clients today expect nothing short of perfection and reliability. They are not forgiving in the case of failures or downtime. When a certain business cannot meet their expectations, clients will simply move on to another service provider.

Disaster recovery planning enables businesses to maintain a high service quality, regardless of the circumstances. Reacquiring an old customer in the aftermath of an IT disaster can be nearly impossible – a disastrous effect that so many businesses have experienced firsthand.

In some industries, customers will be affected heavily by downtime. This is especially true for B2B service providers.  The integrity of your business will affect the integrity of client enterprises. As a result, a chain reaction can lead to the potential failure of multiple businesses and a degraded reputation.

Reducing the risk of downtime and data loss means your clients can rest assured they will receive an adequate service even after disaster strikes. As a result, investing in disaster recovery planning is one of the imperatives when it comes to sustainable customer retention.

4. A Better Understanding of Scalability

One of the key things you will have to do when planning disaster recovery is identifying innovative solutions. Technologies like cloud-based data storage and backups simplify the process of archive maintenance, enhance the effectiveness of backups and reduce the cost of disaster recovery.

Because cloud options are easily scalable, they offer more flexibility than the maintenance of an onsite or offsite data center. A switch can be completed far before a disaster strikes (if ever) and as the technical demands of the company adapt, so too will the storage solution being utilized.

Disaster recovery planning begins with a thorough research and a comparison of possibilities. Businesses who engage in such a strategic process can quickly uncover data storage solution that makes a lot more sense than the one being currently utilized and that can be tweaked on the go.

Disaster recovery planning can streamline IT processes, help for the elimination of superfluous hardware and reduce the risk of human error. In a sense, you are not just preparing to recover in the aftermath of a disaster, you are working to make your business more resilient and profitable.

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Why You Need a Personal File Disaster Recovery Plan 

Illustration of a laptop with files transferring to a cloud, next to a spilled coffee cup and a numbered list from 1 to 5, symbolizing steps in a personal disaster recovery plan for files.

While more commonly used for businesses, disaster recovery plans are also crucial for any individual who has a large library of files that need to be backed up. Whether you produce a podcast, store lots of pictures, edit videos, or keep essential documents on personal devices, a personal disaster recovery plan can safeguard you against data loss. As you try to protect your files from a disaster that could wipe them from your device, you’ll want to know what disaster recovery plans are and their primary benefits.

What Is a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan?

A personal disaster recovery plan refers to a few processes designed to ensure an individual can recover files lost after an unforeseen or foreseen circumstance. For example, natural disasters, malware, and equipment failure can all result in lost data that isn’t recoverable if the files aren’t backed up elsewhere. Personal disaster recovery plans help individuals guard against these dangers by ensuring their files are backed up appropriately and stored in a secure location.

Typically, personal disaster recovery plans will follow the 3-2-1 backup rule . This rule refers to the practice of keeping three copies of files on two media types, with one of the file copies stored in a secure offsite location. In practice, you might keep one copy of a file on your computer, a second on an external hard drive (such as a flash drive), and the third file stored in a cloud backup provider’s secure offsite servers. 

What Should I Include in a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan for Data?

As you create a disaster recovery plan , you can follow a checklist to ensure your data is properly guarded against danger. Review the top steps for creating a personal disaster recovery plan below:

  • Make a list of all the devices you need to back up to make sure you don’t neglect an important device.
  • Evaluate how much backup space you’ll need to protect your data, as this will guide what external hard drives you purchase and the cloud backup provider you sign up for.
  • Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule by ensuring you have copies of your files on both an external hard drive and in a provider’s secure cloud.
  • If you keep sensitive data subject to regulations on a personal device, check that your cloud backup provider’s backup practices fit those regulations.
  • Test that you can properly recover files using your external hard drives and the cloud backup provider before a disaster occurs.
  • Update your personal disaster recovery plan if you start using a new personal device that you want to back up.

What Are the Benefits of a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan for Data?

If you’re still on the fence about whether you need a personal disaster recovery plan, you’ll likely want to know how it can benefit you. Learn more about the top four advantages of personal disaster recovery plans below:

  • Reduced risk of data loss: With a personal disaster recovery plan, you’ll significantly reduce the chance of data loss. Since you’ll have your files stored in two locations with one of the copies stored offsite, malware, equipment failure, and natural disasters are no match for your data protection efforts. When a disaster strikes and causes you to lose a copy of your files, you can quickly restore another copy to a device.
  • Decrease the chance of financial and productivity losses: If you have a side hustle that requires you to save files on your devices, a data loss disaster could result in major financial losses. Fortunately, a disaster recovery plan ensures your data is backed up in multiple locations. Since one copy will be located offsite, you can recover any files and prevent financial losses that could come from lost data. Plus, recovering files prevents productivity losses associated with rebuilding lost work. 
  • Greater protection for sentimental or sensitive data: If you don’t have a side hustle but have sensitive personal data or sentimental files on your device, a disaster recovery plan helps protect them. By following the 3-2-1 backup rule in your plan, pictures, videos, and other important documents, such as automobile, home, and healthcare-related files, will be stored in a safe offsite location. If a natural disaster destroys your computers or an equipment failure bricks your external hard drive, you’ll still have a copy of these files safe in another location.
  • Improved defense against ransomware: While cloud backup solutions and disaster recovery plans don’t prevent ransomware, they guard you against the temptation of paying the hackers and prevent you from losing your files. In a ransomware attack, the hacker will infect your device and hold your data for ransom. Even if you pay it, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back. With a cloud backup solution in your corner, you can remove the ransomware from your device and then restore your files from the cloud without ever feeling the temptation to pay a ransom.

Choose CrashPlan for Personal Use Cloud Backup Solutions

At CrashPlan, we’re proud to offer cloud backup solutions for businesses and individuals . Since cloud backup solutions are an essential component of following the 3-2-1 backup rule, we’ve designed our endpoint backup solutions to give you an easy, secure, and efficient way to store your files offsite. When you use our cloud backup solution, CrashPlan will backup your files every fifteen minutes without impacting system resources. We offer a variety of plans, including a tiered-data plan at a lower price point ( CrashPlan Essential ) and an unlimited data plan for power-users and small businesses ( CrashPlan Professional ).

Ready to try it out? Start your free trial today .

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The Top 5 Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Top 5 Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

All disasters are different, so having a one-size-fits-all plan is tricky. Still, many elements are common to all emergencies and should be considered for a general disaster recovery plan. An obvious benefit to having a natural disaster recovery plan is ensuring your business operations can continue, regardless of the disaster.

Here Are Our Top 5 Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan:

Minimize the cost.

Disaster recovery plans cover essential elements such as measures to reduce the risk of human-made disasters taking place, identifying unwanted events and creating steps for a business to continue straight after a disaster.

Having all of these set in place will minimize the cost of a disaster and ensure business continues as usual as quickly as possible.

Understanding Roles

When employees know and understand their role in your natural disaster recovery plan, they will be useful in carrying out their tasks, and there will be less panic. In other words, there will be a fluid, well-run disaster recovery scenario.

Customer Retention

Customers want things running smoothly at all times; their expectations of businesses are high. And, if you don’t meet their expectations, they will quickly move on. A good disaster recovery plan will allow your business to maintain its high service quality while keeping its customers happy.

Data and Information Planning

Being innovative in how you will solve emergencies is key to a good disaster recovery plan. For example, learning about Cloud-based options for managing and storing your company’s data offers the flexibility of having important information and data ready for your employees so work can carry on, regardless of what may be happening to your business property.

Management of Assets

With thorough documentation of your assets, you can make smart decisions on what spare equipment can be used, where to find equipment, and how to proceed with possible off-site working possibilities.

Guidelines for Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan:

Understanding the value and benefits of a disaster recovery plan is one thing, but what are the best practices for creating a good natural disaster recovery plan?

  • Build a Team   Put a team together to come up with your emergency plan; don’t only have one person working on it. Different people are likely to bring other areas of expertise to the problem and will help you create the most effective disaster recovery plan.And, don’t forget to communicate your plan to all involved, so they have a good understanding of their role when a disaster occurs.
  • Accessible Information   Ensure your natural disaster recovery plan is easy and quick to understand and follow. You don’t want an old, dusty binder that will take an hour to read through. Be concise, list the threat, the risk, and actions that are needed.You can have supporting notes too that are perhaps long and drawn out, but in terms of reaching for the plan as an emergency is happening, you want something quick to read and easily accessible.
  • Regular Updates   Emergencies seem to be a lot more complicated these days and require a little more knowledge than just calling the police or pulling a fire alarm. That’s why having a plan is so important; there’s no need to second guess – you can easily follow the outlined steps.Ensure you are continually updating and re-looking at your procedures for new emergencies and best practices on how you communicate a threat to those involved.
  • Training   You will also need to ensure your disaster recovery plan works. Plan a series of drills and exercises that will lead those involved through the procedures they are expected to know. This will also enable you to make any necessary tweaks to the plan.

How We Can Help

Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT offer the Priority Disaster Response Program (PDRP) , where we work with our customers to develop an emergency response plan. We discuss and identify priorities for your company, perform a property walkthrough, set expectations, and outline procedures to follow should a disaster occur.

Our Response Service Agreement, which is a non-binding agreement, allows us to pre-define pricing and determine how we will work together before a loss.

The PDRP allows us to provide a better overall experience for our customers should a disaster strike, because all the red tape is taken care of already.

We have a plan going into a loss, we know how we will handle the loss, and we can get to work quickly because we are all on the same page before our crews even arrive on-site.

To learn more about the PDRP, visit our website or call 877-899-0676

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National Disaster Recovery Framework

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The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted states, tribes, territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. The NDRF focuses on how best to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient nation.

The NDRF is a first step toward achieving a shared understanding and a common, integrated perspective in order to achieve unity of effort and to build a more resilient nation.

The National Disaster Recovery Framework defines:

Eight principles that guide recovery core capability development and recovery support activities.

A coordinating structure that facilitates communication and collaboration among all stakeholders, guidance for pre- and post-disaster recovery planning.

Roles and responsibilities of recovery coordinators and other stakeholders.

The overall process by which communities can capitalize on opportunities to rebuild stronger, smarter and safer.

View and Download the Framework

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NDRF Fact Sheet

Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG)

The Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG) allows federal agencies to coordinate disaster recovery work under the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) across the six Recovery Support Functions in order to provide communities with unified federal assistance as quickly and effectively as possible.

Learn about Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG) 's responsibilities, membership and priorities.

Additional Resources

Our National Preparedness Planning page provides information on operational and strategic planning.

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OneResponder : Use this free and accessible online system to help you manage your personnel and resources within the NIMS framework.

Pre-Disaster Recovery Guides

  • State Governments : Enables states to more easily adapt to new post-disaster roles needed to manage new or modified sources of state and federal recovery resources.
  • Local Governments : Provides tools for public engagement, whole-community recovery, identification of existing recovery resources, and identifying outside partnerships to help build resilience.
  • Tribal Governments : Designed to prepare tribal governments for future disasters by engaging with the whole community and planning for recovery activities that are comprehensive and long term.

Non-Stafford Act Events

Building on the principles and concepts outlined in the NRDF, Effective Coordination of Recovery Resources for State, Tribal, Territorial and Local Incidents is designed to be applied after an incident, either in concert with existing pre-incident recovery plans or to enhance post-incident planning efforts.

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8 Benefits of Having a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place

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  • July 26, 2019
  • disaster recovery

Disaster recovery plans do take time to plan for and implement. Once completed, however, there are so many benefits and assurances that business owners will be able to number, it becomes clear the effort is well worth the time. Listed below are 8 key benefits even small companies can expect to experience if they have a recovery plan in place before disaster strikes.

1. Reduced Recovery Period

Organizations that have a disaster recovery plan in place should expect to experience a reduced recovery period. In some cases, having a recovery plan in place may make the difference between a business opening its doors again or shutting down.

2. Limit Losses

Of course, the sooner a business is open and operating again the sooner it will begin to experience a resumption of revenue. Getting back to business ASAP may also help to limit losses from damage to equipment and other critical components of a business.

3. Preserve Critical Processes

Some organizations have critical processes that must be preserved, or the business must be shut down. In cases like these, a disaster recovery plan can provide the support necessary for these types of organizations, thus allowing them to keep their doors open during critical times.

4. Retain Industry Reputation

If your competitors are up and running their business as usual after a disaster and your company is still struggling, customers and clients will likely take notice. Being unorganized and ill-prepared does not resonate well within a community or within a specific industry.

5. Proactive vs Reactive

Even in the midst of seeming chaos, a disaster recovery plan can help many businesses retain control over a temporary shutdown and offer more control over the resumption of their operations when the disaster is over. Having more control over chaotic events rather than being in a reactive mode, helps everyone involved stay focused and organized.

6. Fine-Grained Data Management

The right disaster recovery plan allows companies to fully recover every singular piece of data associated with their business. If a serious disaster should occur, business owners are assured all corporate data is safe and secure.

7. Continuity of Performance

With a sound disaster recovery system, any automated processes will still occur even in the midst of a crisis. Depending upon the situation, business owners may see little or no reduction in performance.

8. Customize and Control{{cta(‘3ba12fff-6606-4c80-8093-2d474ad3329e’,’justifyright’)}}

Every organization has unique requirements — and the great thing about creating a disaster recovery plan is that it can be customized to meet an organization’s specific needs. They need not expect to force a cookie cutter solution to work for their unique organization. Of course, as with other important aspects of a company, business owners retain complete control over the planning process.

Want to know more about customizing a disaster recovery plan for your organization? Download our Comprehensive Guide to Disaster Recovery .

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Reliable Network Monitoring Support

Reliable Network Monitoring Support Ensure network security and operational efficiency with robust network monitoring. A strong monitoring system is indispensable

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How to Protect Your Electronics Against Disaster

Know how to protect your business technology and electronics against natural disasters. It’s important for companies to develop a game plan that will ensure employees are able to communicate with others before, during, as well as after a natural disaster to keep the business running.

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Cloud Hardware is More Popular Than Ever. Here’s Why.

Businesses are looking in a new direction when they are purchasing hardware. Today, we talk a little bit about cloud-hosted Infrastructure.

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5 Ways to Engage Your Team in Security Training

Every employee has to understand how to work in a way that keeps your business’s data secure. For this week’s tip, we tell you how to go about it.

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Watch the video below and find out why you should fill out this form and start a conversation today.

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Disaster relief frequently asked questions: Retirement plans and IRAs under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022

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FS-2024-19, May 2024

This fact sheet issues frequently asked questions about SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0) that provides for special rules for distributions from retirement plans and individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and for retirement plan loans, for certain individuals impacted by federally declared major disasters.

These FAQs are being issued to provide general information to taxpayers and tax professionals as expeditiously as possible. Accordingly, these FAQs may not address any particular taxpayer’s specific facts and circumstances, and they may be updated or modified upon further review. Because these FAQs have not been published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, they will not be relied on or used by the IRS to resolve a case. Similarly, if an FAQ turns out to be an inaccurate statement of the law as applied to a particular taxpayer’s case, the law will control the taxpayer’s tax liability.

Nonetheless, a taxpayer who reasonably and in good faith relies on these FAQs will not be subject to a penalty that provides a reasonable cause standard for relief, including a negligence penalty or other accuracy-related penalty, to the extent that reliance results in an underpayment of tax. Any later updates or modifications to these FAQs will be dated to enable taxpayers to confirm the date on which any changes to the FAQs were made. Additionally, prior versions of these FAQs will be maintained on IRS.gov to ensure that taxpayers, who may have relied on a prior version, can locate that version if they later need to do so.

More information about reliance is available . These FAQs were announced in IR-2024-132 .

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0), enacted on Dec. 29, 2022, amended the Internal Revenue Code to provide for special rules for distributions from retirement plans and individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and for retirement plan loans, for certain individuals impacted by federally declared major disasters occurring on or after Jan. 26, 2021 (the date that is 30 days after the enactment of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020).

Prior to the changes made by SECURE 2.0, there was no disaster relief allowing these distributions and loans that applied generally for all major disasters; instead, Congress would enact relief on a disaster-by-disaster or year-by-year basis. Under SECURE 2.0, Congress has provided for ongoing disaster relief for these distributions and loans in the case of federally declared major disasters.

These questions and answers are divided into four categories, to assist taxpayers in applying the SECURE 2.0 disaster relief:

General information

Taxation and reporting of qualified disaster recovery distributions, repayment of qualified distributions taken for the purpose of purchasing or constructing a principal residence in a qualified disaster area, loans from certain qualified plans, q1. what are the special disaster relief rules for retirement plans and iras in secure 2.0.

A1. As described in more detail in the frequently asked questions below, in general, section 331 of SECURE 2.0 provides for:

  • Expanded distribution and tax relief : Expanded distribution options and favorable tax treatment for up to $22,000 of qualified disaster recovery distributions from eligible retirement plans (certain employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as section 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and IRAs), to qualified individuals, as well as special rollover and repayment rules with respect to such distributions.
  • Relief to repay distributions taken for principal residence purchase/construction : The ability for an individual to repay a first-time homebuyer distribution from an IRA or a hardship withdrawal from a section 401(k) or 403(b) plan if the distribution was to be used to purchase or construct a principal residence in a qualified disaster area but was not so used because of the qualified disaster.
  • Plan loan relief : Increased limit on the amount a qualified individual may borrow from the individual’s account under an eligible retirement plan (not including an IRA). An employer may also provide qualified individuals up to an additional year to repay their plan loans.

Q2. Who is a qualified individual?

A2. An individual is a qualified individual if:

  • The individual’s principal residence at any time during the incident period of any qualified disaster is in the qualified disaster area with respect to that disaster, and
  • The individual has sustained an economic loss by reason of that qualified disaster.

Q3. What is the incident period of a qualified disaster?

A3. The incident period for a qualified disaster is the period specified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the period during which the disaster occurred. An incident period might be a single day (for example, in the case of a tornado) or it might be multiple days (for example, in the case of a hurricane or snowstorm). The incident period for a qualified disaster can be located by referring to the FEMA website on declared disasters .

Q4. What does it mean for an individual to sustain an economic loss by reason of a qualified disaster?

A4. Examples of an economic loss include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss, damage to, or destruction of real or personal property from fire, flooding, looting, vandalism, theft, wind, or other cause,
  • Loss related to displacement from the individual’s home, or
  • Loss of livelihood due to temporary or permanent layoffs.

Q5. What is a qualified disaster?

A5. A qualified disaster is any disaster with respect to which a major disaster has been declared by the President after Dec. 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020). Use the FEMA disaster declaration search tool , filtering for declaration type: Major Disaster Declaration, to determine if a specific disaster qualifies. Note that, on occasion, the disaster declaration type identified by FEMA may change if new information becomes available regarding the severity of impact of the event on individuals and businesses. For example, a disaster may initially be declared to be an “emergency” but may subsequently be declared to be a “major disaster.” The relief provided under SECURE 2.0 only applies in the case of declared major disasters .

Q6. What is a qualified disaster recovery distribution?

A6. A qualified disaster recovery distribution is a distribution to a qualified individual that is made from an eligible retirement plan on or after the first day of the incident period of a qualified disaster and before the date that is 180 days after the latest of the following three dates:

  • Dec. 29, 2022,
  • The first day of the incident period with respect to the qualified disaster, or
  • The date of the disaster declaration with respect to the qualified disaster.

With respect to a particular disaster, a maximum aggregate amount of distributions of $22,000 from all plans and IRAs of an individual can be treated as a qualified disaster recovery distribution.

Q7. Is it optional for employers to adopt the expanded distribution and loan rules?

A7. Yes. An employer is permitted to choose whether, and to what extent, to amend its plan to provide for qualified disaster recovery distributions and/or loans that satisfy the provisions of SECURE 2.0. For example, an employer may choose to provide for qualified disaster recovery distributions but choose not to change its plan loan provisions or loan repayment schedules.

Even if an employer does not treat a distribution as a qualified disaster recovery distribution, an individual may still treat a distribution as such on their federal income tax return if they are a qualified individual and the distribution meets the requirements to be a qualified disaster recovery distribution. Use Form 8915-F, Qualified Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments PDF to report qualified disaster recovery distributions. For more information, see How do qualified individuals report qualified disaster recovery distributions? (relating to how qualified individuals report qualified disaster recovery distributions) and section 4.A of Notice 2005-92 .

Q8. Does SECURE 2.0 provide additional distribution rights to participants or otherwise change the rules that apply to plan distributions?

A8. Under SECURE 2.0, a qualified disaster recovery distribution is treated as meeting the distribution restrictions for a section 401(k) plan, a money purchase pension plan, a section 403(b) plan, or a governmental section 457(b) plan. For example, a section 401(k) plan may permit a qualified disaster recovery distribution, even if the distribution would be made before an otherwise permitted distributable event (such as severance from employment, disability, or attainment of age 59½).

However, SECURE 2.0 does not otherwise change when plan distributions are permitted to be made from employer-sponsored retirement plans. For example, a defined benefit pension plan is not permitted to make a distribution (such as an in-service distribution) before an otherwise permitted distributable event merely because the distribution, if made, would qualify as a qualified disaster recovery distribution. Further, a pension plan is not permitted to make a distribution in a form that is not a qualified joint and survivor annuity without spousal consent merely because the distribution, if made, could be treated as a qualified disaster recovery distribution. See section 2.A of Notice 2005-92 .

Q9. May an individual repay a qualified disaster recovery distribution?

A9. In general, yes, a qualified individual may repay all or part of the amount of a qualified disaster recovery distribution to an eligible retirement plan, provided that the qualified individual completes the repayment within the 3-year period beginning on the day after the date that the distribution was received. If the qualified individual repays a qualified disaster recovery distribution, the distribution will be treated as though it were repaid in a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer so that that qualified individual does not owe federal income tax on the distribution.

For example, assume a qualified individual received a qualified disaster recovery distribution in 2022, and chose to include the distribution amount in income in equal amounts over a 3-year period (2022, 2023, and 2024). In 2024, that individual chooses to repay the full amount of the 2022 distribution to an eligible retirement plan. As a result of the repayment, the individual may file amended federal income tax returns for 2022 and 2023 to claim a refund of the tax attributable to the amount of the distribution that was included in income for those years, and the individual will not be required to include any amount in income in 2024 with respect to the 2022 distribution. See sections 4.D, 4.E, and 4.F of Notice 2005-92 , as well as the instructions to Form 8915-F PDF , for additional examples regarding repayment.

Q10. Is an eligible retirement plan required to accept repayment of a participant's qualified disaster recovery distribution?

A10. In general, the IRS anticipates that eligible retirement plans will accept a qualified individual’s repayments of a qualified disaster recovery distribution, which are to be treated as rollover contributions. However, eligible retirement plans generally are not required to accept rollover contributions. For example, if a plan does not accept any rollover contributions, the plan is not required to change its rollover terms or procedures to accept repayments of qualified disaster recovery distributions.

Q11. May a plan sponsor or plan administrator rely on a participant’s reasonable representations that the participant is a qualified individual?

A11 . A plan sponsor or plan administrator is permitted to rely on a participant’s reasonable representations that the participant is a qualified individual who qualifies for this special treatment for distributions and loans, unless the plan administrator (or other responsible person) with respect to the qualified employer plan has actual knowledge to the contrary.

Q1. Is a qualified disaster recovery distribution from a retirement plan or IRA subject to the 10% additional tax?

A1. No, regardless of how a distribution is reported by the employer on Form 1099-R , the 10% additional tax on early distributions does not apply to any qualified disaster recovery distribution made to a qualified individual. See Is it optional for employers to adopt the expanded distribution and loan rules? , How do qualified individuals report qualified disaster recovery distributions? , and Form 8915-F PDF for more information on reporting by the individual of a qualified disaster recovery distribution.

Q2. When does an individual have to pay income tax on qualified disaster recovery distributions?

A2. Qualified disaster recovery distributions generally are included in income in equal amounts over a 3-year period, starting with the year in which the distribution is received, unless the individual elects to include the entire distribution in income in the year of receipt by making an election on that year’s Form 8915-F PDF . For more information, see the question about how qualified individuals report distributions in How do qualified individuals report qualified disaster recovery distributions? , as well as the instructions for Form 8915-F.

Q3. How do qualified individuals report qualified disaster recovery distributions?

A3 . A qualified individual may designate any eligible distribution as a qualified disaster recovery distribution as long as the total amount designated for a particular qualified disaster is not more than $22,000. As noted in Is it optional for employers to adopt the expanded distribution and loan rules? , a qualified individual may treat a distribution that meets the requirements to be a qualified disaster recovery distribution as such a distribution, regardless of whether the eligible retirement plan treats the distribution as a qualified disaster recovery distribution.

A qualified disaster recovery distribution received by a qualified individual should be reported on the individual’s federal income tax returns, including Form 8915-F PDF , over the 3-year period beginning with the year of receipt, unless the qualified individual elects on Form 8915-F to include the entire amount in income in the year of receipt. For example, a qualified individual who received a qualified disaster recovery distribution in 2023 must include the taxable portion of the distribution in income in equal amounts over the 3-year period – 2023, 2024, and 2025 – unless the qualified individual elects on the 2023 Form 8915-F to include the entire amount in income in 2023. Whether or not a qualified individual is required to file a federal income tax return, that individual would use Form 8915-F to report any receipt or repayment of a qualified disaster recovery distribution and to determine the amount of any qualified disaster recovery distribution includible in income for a year. See section 4 of Notice 2005-92 .

Q4. How do plans and IRAs report qualified disaster recovery distributions?

A4. The payment of a qualified disaster recovery distribution to a qualified individual must be reported by the eligible retirement plan on Form 1099-R , Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.  This reporting is required even if the qualified individual repays the qualified disaster recovery distribution in the same year. See section 3 of Notice 2005-92 .

Q1. What is a qualified distribution taken for the purpose of purchasing or constructing a principal residence in a qualified disaster area?

A1. A qualified distribution taken for the purpose of purchasing or constructing a principal residence in a qualified disaster area means any distribution that is a qualified first-time homebuyer distribution from an IRA or a hardship distribution from a section 401(k) or section 403(b) plan, which:

  • Was to be used to purchase or construct a principal residence in a qualified disaster area, but which was not so used because of the qualified disaster (as defined in What is a qualified disaster? ) that affected that area, and
  • Was received during the period beginning 180 days before the first day of the incident period of that qualified disaster and ending 30 days after the last day of that incident period.

Q2. May an individual repay a qualified distribution that was to be used to purchase or construct a principal residence in a qualified disaster area?

A2. Yes, an individual who received a qualified distribution that was to be used to purchase or construct a principal residence in a qualified disaster area (as described in What is a qualified distribution taken for the purpose of purchasing or constructing a principal residence in a qualified disaster area? ) may, within a specified period of time, repay any or all of the distribution. Under SECURE 2.0, a qualified distribution may be repaid during the period beginning on the first day of the incident period of the qualified disaster and ending on the date that is 180 days after the latest of the following three dates:

The total of any repayment contributions must be no more than the amount of the qualified distribution, and the contributions must be made solely to an eligible retirement plan of which that individual is a beneficiary and to which a rollover contribution of that distribution can be made. If the qualified individual repays a qualified distribution for the purpose of purchasing or constructing a principal residence in a qualified disaster area, the distribution will be treated as though it were repaid in a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer so that the qualified individual does not owe federal income tax on the distribution. For more information on reporting repayments of qualified distributions, including filing an amended return using Form 1040-X , see the Amending Form 8915-F paragraph in the instructions to Form 8915-F.

Q1. What plan loan disaster relief is provided under SECURE 2.0?

A1. With respect to a qualified individual, SECURE 2.0 permits an additional year for repayment of loans from eligible retirement plans (not including IRAs) and relaxes certain dollar limits on loans.

Certain loan repayments may be delayed for one year: SECURE 2.0 permits employers to provide additional time (up to one year) for qualified individuals with respect to a qualified disaster to repay certain plan loans if the plan loan is one that was outstanding on or after the latest of three dates:

In the case of any repayment on such a loan that is due from the first day of the disaster’s incident period to the date that is 180 days after the last day of the incident period, the due date for repayment may be delayed under the plan for up to one year. Any payments after the suspension period will be adjusted to reflect that delay and any interest accruing during the delay. See section 5.B of Notice 2005-92 .

Loan limit may be increased: SECURE 2.0 also permits employers to increase the maximum loan amount available to qualified individuals. Generally, the maximum amount that a plan can permit as a loan is (1) the greater of $10,000 or 50% of the individual’s vested benefit under the plan, or (2) $50,000, whichever is less. Under this loan provision, for plan loans made during a specified period following a major disaster, an employer may increase the dollar limit for plan loans up to the full amount of the individual's vested benefit under the plan, but not more than $100,000 (minus outstanding plan loans of the individual). See section 5.A of Notice 2005-92 .

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The American Rescue Plan Act

Delivering immediate relief to america's workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis have undermined the health and economic wellbeing of America's workers. Millions of Americans, many of whom are people of color, immigrants, and low-wage workers, continue to put their lives on the line every day to keep the country functioning through the pandemic. And more than 9.5 million workers have lost their jobs in the wake of COVID-19, with 4 million out of work for half a year or longer. The American Rescue Plan Act supports workers by:

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Improving the unemployment insurance system

Helps shore up and modernize the unemployment insurance system to help workers get the benefits they deserve when they need them. 

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Keeping workers safe

Provides additional funding for OSHA to help keep vulnerable workers healthy and safe from COVID-19 

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Assisting with health insurance premiums

Helps workers who lost their jobs or had their hours reduced during the pandemic pay for health insurance by fully subsidizing COBRA premiums for eligible individuals from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

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Harwood Grant Program

Grant Program helps improve workplace safety and health through funding opportunities

OSHA announced the availability of more than $21 million in Susan Harwood training grants to help nonprofit organizations develop training and education related to workplace safety and health. This includes $10 million in grants under the American Rescue Plan Act for workplace safety and health training on infectious diseases.

Learn more about grant opportunities

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Find out if you qualify for a COBRA premium subsidy

If you lost your job or had your hours reduced in the past year you may qualify for health insurance at no cost to you.

Learn more about the COBRA premium subsidy

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Simplifying the FECA claim process

The American Rescue Plan makes it much easier for federal workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to establish coverage under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. To establish a COVID-19 claim, you simply need to establish that you are a covered employee.

Learn more about the FECA claim process

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Find COVID-19 vaccines near you

Vaccines protect workers and help business reopen safely, and are available at no cost to everyone in the United States age 12 and older.

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Lost your job? Had your hours reduced? You may qualify for 100 percent coverage of COBRA premiums

Guidance on worker protections regarding wages and hours worked and job-protected leave

New guidance from the Wage and Hour Division on critical worker protections regarding wages and hours worked and job-protected leave during the pandemic.

Learn more about the new guidance

Lost your job? Had your hours reduced? You may qualify for 100 percent coverage of COBRA premiums

3 ways the American Rescue Plan helps people who lost jobs afford health coverage

Ali Khawar, Acting Assistant Secretary of the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration explains how the American Rescue Plan is helping workers and their families maintain critical health coverage.

Learn more about coverage options

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Guidance on implementing COBRA premium assistance provisions

New guidance from the Employee Benefits Security Administration includes documents to help implement the American Rescue Plan’s COBRA provisions, including frequently asked questions, model notices and a Federal Register Notice.

Read the new guidance

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Guidance to states on implementing the American Rescue Plan’s unemployment insurance provisions

New guidance from the Employment and Training Administration will help state workforce agencies implement extended unemployment benefits.

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The White House guide to the American Rescue Plan Act

Explore how the American Rescue Plan Act will provide direct relief to working Americans, rescue the economy, and help beat the virus.

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How the American Rescue Plan Act will improve unemployment benefit programs

Suzi LeVine, principal deputy assistant secretary of labor for employment and training, explains how the plan will help create a more equitable, secure and accessible safety net for America’s workers

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Department of Labor spending on American Rescue Plan Act’s worker protection provisions

Track how Department of Labor programs are spending $200,000,000 in supplemental funding to carry out worker protection activities, and for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for oversight of the Secretary’s activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

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  2. Veeam Replication (Disaster Recovery Plan) Overview #1

  3. Realized Solutions

  4. Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). CPA Exam BEC

  5. Disaster Recovery Planning Step 1: Business Impact Analysis



  1. What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

    An effective DR plan addresses three different elements for recovery: Preventive: Ensuring your systems are as secure and reliable as possible, using tools and techniques to prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place.This may include backing up critical data or continuously monitoring environments for configuration errors and compliance violations.

  2. What is a Disaster Recovery Plan? + Complete Checklist

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of detailed, documented guidelines that outline a business' critical assets and explain how the organization will respond to unplanned incidents. ... Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan. Ultimately, the aim of a thorough disaster recovery plan is to facilitate faster response and smoother restoration ...

  3. What is a Disaster Recovery Plan? Importance & Benefits

    A disaster recovery plan is a proactive strategy that offers numerous benefits to organizations of all sizes: Minimized downtime: Disaster recovery planning helps minimize downtime by enabling swift recovery and reducing operational disruptions. Data protection: Backups are an important element of a disaster recovery plan.

  4. What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a detailed document that outlines how an organization will respond effectively to an unplanned incident and resume business operations. DRPs help ensure that businesses are prepared to face many different types of disasters, including power outages, ransomware and malware attacks, natural disasters and much ...

  5. What is Disaster Recovery?

    A disaster recovery plan prompts the quick restart of backup systems and data so that operations can continue as scheduled. Enhances system security. Integrating data protection, backup, and restoring processes into a disaster recovery plan limits the impact of ransomware, malware, or other security risks for business.

  6. What Is Disaster Recovery (DR)?

    Simply put, if your disaster recovery plan has not been tested, it cannot be relied upon. All employees with relevant responsibilities should participate in the disaster recovery test exercise, which may include maintaining operations from the failover site for a period of time. ... Compare the costs, benefits, and functionality of on-premises ...

  7. How to Write a Disaster Recovery Plan + Template

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a document that outlines the procedures an organization will follow to recover and restore its critical systems, operations, and data after a disaster. Examples of disasters that may disrupt the continuity of product or service delivery are natural disasters, cyber attacks, hardware failures, and human errors. ...

  8. What is Disaster Recovery?

    Disaster recovery is an organization's method of regaining access and functionality to its IT infrastructure after events like a natural disaster, cyber attack, or even business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of disaster recovery (DR) methods can be part of a disaster recovery plan. DR is one aspect of business ...

  9. disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume operations after an unplanned incident. A DRP is an essential part of a business continuity plan ( BCP ). It's applied to the aspects of an organization that depend on a functioning IT infrastructure.

  10. What is a Disaster Recovery Plan? Definition + Strategies

    Benefits of a disaster recovery plan. Obviously, a disaster recovery plan details scenarios for reducing interruptions and resuming operations rapidly in the aftermath of a disaster. It is a central piece of the business continuity plan and should be designed to prevent data loss and enable sufficient IT recovery.

  11. The 8 Steps of an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

    To receive these disaster recovery plan benefits, find out more about the eight main steps you'll need to follow when creating a small business IT disaster recovery plan below: 1. Audit and Document Key Hardware, Software, and Data Assets. Before you begin building the rest of your plan, start by auditing the IT resources you use for your ...

  12. Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist & Free Template

    13-Step Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist. 1. Assess the risks and impacts. Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential disasters and emergencies and look for vulnerabilities. Then, perform a detailed business impact analysis to understand the potential impact of disasters on your business operations.

  13. 7 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning

    The benefits of a disaster recovery plan are, therefore, invaluable. A DR plan can help to minimise the impact on customers in a number of ways: Increases data protection: IT professionals become aware of the weaknesses of their infrastructure, and can implement the appropriate security measures.

  14. What Are The Benefits Of Creating A Business Disaster Recovery Plan

    The biggest benefit of creating a disaster recovery plan is to ensure business continuity after a disaster. It is a known fact that the fallout of disasters can be devastating to a business. Whether caused by natural events, hacking or human errors, you're likely to incur major losses without a disaster recovery plan. ...

  15. The benefits of business continuity and disaster recovery

    Even in a normal business climate, there are many benefits to implementing a BC/DR plan: Develop muscle memory: Practicing a disaster scenario via tabletop or with a real exercise develops a kind of "muscle memory" when a situation really does happen. When (not if) an incident does happen, hours and days are shaved off the recovery process.


    We have identified 8 benefits of Disaster Recovery for companies: 1. Drastic reduction of restore times and lower RTO & RPO. Thanks to Disaster Recovery solution you have the warranty of restore systems, services and applications in short times and get significantly lower RTO and RPO. According to the parameters defined from DR plan, you could ...

  17. What is a Disaster Recovery Plan and Why is it Important?

    Benefits of a disaster recovery plan. For now, let's focus on some of the benefits that your business can access by creating and implementing an effective DRP. These are wide-ranging and numerous, but the most significant include: Cost efficiency: This is where long-term implications outweigh short-term expenditures. It is more cost-effective ...

  18. Disaster Recovery Plan

    Disaster Recovery Plan Meaning. Disaster Recovery Plan is an essential strategy that defines the steps to be taken in the event of an unexpected disaster that disrupts normal business operations. It helps organizations minimize the impact of a disaster on their operations, assets, and employees and to resume normal business functions.

  19. 4 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning

    The obvious benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is business continuity, regardless of the circumstances. Having a strategic approach to business continuity can help a company in a number of other important ways. Here are the top 4 benefits of disaster recovery planning: 1. Cost-Efficiency. Disaster recovery plans have multiple components.

  20. 4 Benefits of a Personal Disaster Recovery Plan

    Fortunately, a disaster recovery plan ensures your data is backed up in multiple locations. Since one copy will be located offsite, you can recover any files and prevent financial losses that could come from lost data. Plus, recovering files prevents productivity losses associated with rebuilding lost work. Greater protection for sentimental or ...

  21. 3 Bonus Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

    Benefits of a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan. 1. Cost-Efficiencies and Savings - One of the most significant benefits of a DRP is the long-term cost savings. A successful DRP includes preventative measures to reduce the risk of man-made disasters, detective processes to spot unwanted activity and corrective actions to quickly restore ...

  22. Top 5 Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

    An obvious benefit to having a natural disaster recovery plan is ensuring your business operations can continue, regardless of the disaster. Here Are Our Top 5 Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan: Minimize the Cost. Disaster recovery plans cover essential elements such as measures to reduce the risk of human-made disasters taking place ...

  23. National Disaster Recovery Framework

    The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted states, tribes, territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. The NDRF focuses on how best to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and ...

  24. 8 Benefits of Having a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place

    5. Proactive vs Reactive. Even in the midst of seeming chaos, a disaster recovery plan can help many businesses retain control over a temporary shutdown and offer more control over the resumption of their operations when the disaster is over. Having more control over chaotic events rather than being in a reactive mode, helps everyone involved ...

  25. Disaster relief frequently asked questions: Retirement plans and IRAs

    A qualified disaster recovery distribution is a distribution to a qualified individual that is made from an eligible retirement plan on or after the first day of the incident period of a qualified disaster and before the date that is 180 days after the latest of the following three dates:

  26. The American Rescue Plan Act

    Department of Labor spending on American Rescue Plan Act's worker protection provisions. Track how Department of Labor programs are spending $200,000,000 in supplemental funding to carry out worker protection activities, and for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for oversight of the Secretary's activities to prevent, prepare for ...