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A disaster recovery plan refers to the organisation of policies and procedures that aim at recovering and continuing the normal process after a human and natural disaster. The disaster recovery plans are drafted taking into consideration the organisational, Managerial and technical environments in which disaster recovery plans will be implemented (Pension 2009). They must also evaluate the disasters that are most likely to occur and the possible impacts that may accrue due to their occurrence. The disaster recovery plan should also take into consideration the possible mitigation measures that should be implemented in preparation for natural or anthropogenic disasters. The world is an ever changing place therefore it is prudent to review and revise this plan to ensure that is current and compatible with the existing systems and technology (Pension 2009). Businesses and other entities have recognised the importance of maintaining viable disaster response mechanisms. High operational and financial losses can result from these disasters (Arnold 1983).. Careful planning and prompt response to such emergencies can reduce the losses incurred.
The importance of a disaster recovery plan is to provide a framework for reconstructing vital operations to ensure the safety of employees and the resumption of time sensitive operations and services in the event of an emergency (Pension 2009). Disaster management plans should always be flexible to achieve this; the plan should provide a guide to carrying out mitigation measures in case of an emergency. Therefore the magnitude of an emergency should determine the application of the disaster management plan (Wrobel & Wrobel, 2009).. Since operations are unique among different organisations managers should identify services and processes which are likely to be disrupted in case of a disaster. This will enable the managers relate and establish a viable disaster management plan. Documentation and approval of disaster management plan is not sufficient to meet the above applications. There is need for constant revisions, training of staff members and establishment of the capacity of the events. These should form an integral part of the planning process.
The development of a disaster management plan that includes ensures that a consistent and fluent planning methodology is applied (Pension 2009).
This of course includes
Implementing accurate and continuous vital records data backup and off stage storage
Implementing capabilities for rapid transferral of voice and data communication circuits to alternative sites
Providing necessary communication systems to the critical recovery team
Developing strategies for providing alternative sites for business operations
Constructing a contingency organisation
Therefore the disaster recovery department has a responsibility of establishing these disaster plans in consultation with the relevant department directors and managers. These Disaster recovery plans should be available in hard copy and offline to ensure that there are readily available in case of a disaster or an exercise (Arnold 1983).. The disaster recovery plan should be maintained offsite probably on the extranet server. These documents will support recovery in case of an emergency.
Importance of a disaster recovery plan is to sustain the activities of the organisations in case of an emergency (Arnold 1983). The plan assesses the requirements and needs so that the organisation may be able to respond to emergencies efficiently. This will enable the organisation to regain normal operation.
One important aspect to note of a disaster recovery plan is that it only covers departments within the business unit and the business itself it does not employ strategies beyond the business unit.
Necessities of a disaster planning process
During this phase the executive management defines the goals and objectives of a disaster recovery plan. The management then appoints a specialist to oversee the process. A project plan and chart are then prepared. The management then communicates to all managers on the forthcoming disaster recovery planning programme (Arnold 1983). The specialist then meets the department and managers to discuss the established objectives.
Risk Assessment. This is done by establishing the Disaster mitigation insurance evaluation and security assessment
Business impact analysis
This step prompts a meeting between the subject matter experts, department directors and managers, the disaster recovery specialists who identify the important and critical processes of the business with the use of business impact analysis tools. This team also determines the interdependent inputs and outputs that can be used in the process. The business executives then prioritize the recovery objectives
Then follows the prioritization of critical business processes
This can be easily done through letting the business department managers prioritize critical business processes that are vital for the recovery of the basic services and processes. It is also important that the Disaster recovery technical team evaluate the already set strategies. The department managers then clarify the vital business processes together with the needed resource allocations. They also have to establish the interdependence with other departments on these issues. The Disaster recovery technical committee then establishes the minimum vital requirements for the work station.
Develop recovery strategy
In this stage the critical business processes are then submitted for review by the departmental committees where they are either approved reprioritize, rejected or modified. The executives then meet and prioritize the company's extensive critical business processes (Wrobel &Wrobel 2009). This company's wide strategy is then forwarded to departmental directors and the managers upon approval of the document. A budget is then developed through the help of the specialist's critical business partners and vendors. The managers are then provided with the copies of the budget for approval. The disaster recovery plan is then refined to ensure that it covers all the relevant fields and is fully understood.
The plan is then developed using the appropriate format. This is done through the help of appointed team members, Vendors and other contacts (Wrobel &Wrobel 2009). The data is then collected from all the necessary departments. Using this data the initial draft is prepared it is later refined and forwarded to the departmental directors for its approval by department managers and directors.
The disaster management plan is then tested to establish whether it is functioning in an appropriate way. This first requires that the specialist communicates the schedule for unit business testing. The schedules showing the test and maintenance plans are then drafted posted and followed (Pension 2009).The testing formats are then executed and updated. All the relevant stakeholders are then informed and requested to be involved in the plan.