Q

How do you maintain contact with key personnel during a disaster?

Kevin Beaver explains the importance of having alternate communication plans in your DR plan to avoid potential disasters in this Ask the Expert response.

I've heard of disaster recovery (DR) plans that fell apart because communications were down or difficult -- how do you maintain contact with key personnel during a disaster?
It's been said that action without planning is at the root of every failure. Many people don't worry about communication links being down during a disaster. People assume that, even during a disaster, they'll have some way of communicating with each other, whether that is a landline, cell phone, SMS, two-way radio, etc. Unfortunately, many people have learned the hard way that this isn't always the case. The key to preventing communication failures is to plan ahead. Every disaster recovery plan should include alternate means of communication such as meeting at a certain location or using alternate email or phone systems from employees' homes or other locations. Planning ahead is the only chance you get to think things through rationally to ensure a disaster is handled with relative grace.
This was first published in September 2009

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