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How can mobile phones and mobile devices aid in disaster recovery efforts?

How can mobile phones support DR and BC?

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Mobile phones and mobile communication in general can be helpful in disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) efforts in emergency situations. The most obvious benefit of mobile devices is the ability to communicate from most locations around the country and the globe. However, depending upon location and service provider, a substantially clear signal may not be available.

With mobile phones, if you have a key individual at another location or even in transit, they can be contacted regardless of whether they can or cannot access a land line. Also, many mobile phones and mobile devices have the capability of story documents. Therefore, these devices can have a subset of the DR or BC plan downloaded onto it for remote reference. With disaster recovery and business continuity documents on mobile devices, decisions can be made and instructions given regardless of location. Plus, mobile phones/devices can also access the Internet, which gives users the additional advantage of retrieving information that otherwise may be unavailable to them. And having the ability to communicate via voice, text or email is helpful in any emergency situation.

Most mobile phones today also have cameras. Again, this could be helpful when sending direct photos/video of incidents occurring to interested staff. Sending a picture of an event reduces the need to describe every last detail when time may be critical. The receiving party could see for themselves what has occurred, and assess the damage and situation wherever they may be.

This was first published in April 2010

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