Disaster recovery checklist: What you need in your DR budget

With our disaster recovery budget checklist, learn what you need to include in your budget and what budget line items should be included.


When developing a disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) budget, the following assumptions and considerations need to be addressed:

  1. No disaster recovery and business continuity activities exist.
  2. Disaster recovery plans are in place for IT functions only.
  3. Disaster recovery plans are in place for business functions only.
  4. Some departments/divisions have business continuity plans.
  5. Management support for BC/DR activities does/doesn't exist.
  6. The department is currently conducting business impact analyses (BIAs) and/or risk assessments.
  7. The department is currently developing and implementing BC/DR plans that meet the needs of the organization.
  8. An emergency operations center does/doesn't exist.
  9. BC/DR policies and procedures are in place and approved by senior management
  10. A crisis management process and plan does/doesn't exist.
  11. An enterprise risk assessment for the board and/or senior management has been/has not been completed.

Budget line items checklist

Controlling IT disaster recovery costs: A DR budget guide
An introduction to IT disaster recovery costs

Funding your IT disaster recovery and business continuity program

Disaster recovery checklist: What you need in your DR budget 

A disaster recovery template: A free downloadable budget plan 


The following disaster recovery checklist provides a selection of typical disaster recovery and business continuity budget line items. Clearly some of the items on the table will not apply to every organization. Smaller organizations may not have the same types of budget line items in their organization as a larger enterprise. Still, this disaster recovery checklist will give you a good idea of typical budget line items to include in your disaster recovery budget regardless of the size of your company.

In addition, it may be useful to group various items under specific headings, such as disaster recovery/business continuity program office or program management.

Budget Item





Salaries -- Full-Time





Salaries -- Part-Time





Consultants/Contractors (Business Focus)





Consultants/Contractors (IT Focus)





Program Office





Hot Site/Cold Site





Alternate Office Space





Internal Recovery Site(s)





Data Backup and Recovery





Risk Analyses





Business Impact Assessments





Plan Development/Updating





Plan Exercising










Notification/Alerting Systems





Emergency Communications





Mobile Recovery





DR Technology





Emergency Response





Emergency Operations Center





Emergency Supplies (disaster kits)





Incident Management










Records Management





Staff Training and Education





Staff Attendance at Conferences










Professional Memberships





Professional Certifications










BC/DR Software





Emergency Disaster Funds





Office Space





Remember that the disaster recovery budget process, as well as the entire disaster recovery and business continuity organization in your firm, exists to accomplish several key activities.

Make sure you factor in the following key activities in the disaster recovery checklist below:

  • Develop and implement DR/BC plans that facilitate the timely recovery of critical business functions and IT facilities following a major disruption or disaster.
  • Develop policies, procedures and compliance activities to address all BC/DR and security requirements.
  • Develop, document, exercise and maintain plans to ensure survival of the business and minimize the negative impact of business and technology disruptions.
  • Identify and assess potential risks to the enterprise and its operations, technology infrastructure, business processes and people.
  • Identify and assess potential vulnerabilities to the enterprise and its operations, technology infrastructure, business processes and people.
  • Design and deploy cost-effective emergency mechanisms that can quickly recover business and technology operations.
  • Develop and deploy training and awareness programs so that all employees are fully aware of their responsibilities and commitments.
  • Establish and maintain liaison with external parties such as customers, vendors, insurers, emergency first responders, regulators, financial institutions, etc.
  • If external recovery facilities (e.g., hot sites) are used, ensure they are secure and that systems are prepared for emergency activation.
  • Develop a capability to optimize media relations so as to minimize adverse publicity and negative business implications.

Click here to go to the next part of our guide and download our free IT disaster recovery planning budget template.

This was first published in March 2010

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