In this disaster plan, IT is third on the list. If your employees have communications and a place to work, then they will need access to the IT systems they use. If your IT is on-premises, and the building is not available, you are going to need a list of the hardware that your system uses, and a valid full system backup to load on the replacement system.
If your system is cloud-based, you will still need network access to it. How can your team get access, and have the bandwidth necessary to keep the business working?
If your system is cloud-based, do you have the technology in place so that an intruder can’t lock you out or steal client information?
One early priority is to determine if your employees are safe and in a safe place. Once you know the status of your existing employees, you can start to work on taking care of clients. You may be in a position where you need extra staff to man phones and answer emails, have a plan to access the needed help. It may be that you will want temp employees, and you may need them outside of normal business hours and quickly. Find a source and build a relationship so that the extra staff is there when you have the need.
I would make sure that I had disaster coverage that would handle the damage to material items. I would also want coverage that would cover any additional costs incurred, like renting space, hiring extra staff, etc.
One common occurrence with plans is they look good on paper, but no one has actually tried to implement them. I can speak from experience, we were very careful about backing up our data, and yet when I need to restore a server, we found that the backup was not valid. Test every aspect that you can. Restore from the backup and test switching to it.
Test switching your phone systems to Plan B. Test your emergency communication plan for employees. When your first manager arrives at the building in the morning, tell him the building has burned to the ground and ask him what he should do.
Hopefully, you will never need your disaster plan. But if you do, you will truly benefit by having one that is well designed.
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