Top five free disaster recovery plan templates

Check out our compilation of the top five free disaster recovery (DR) plan templates. Download our free templates and then read our DR plan template guides.

An information technology (IT) disaster recovery (DR) plan gives organizations a formal approach for responding...

to unplanned disasters that threaten an IT infrastructure. Parts of your organization that are often affected by disasters are hardware, software, networks, processes and, most importantly, people. Protecting your company's investment in its technology infrastructure, and protecting your firm's ability to conduct business are the key reasons for implementing an IT disaster recovery plan.

If you've never put together a disaster recovery plan, it can be a daunting task. To help you make your job easier, we've collected the top five disaster recovery plan templates. Download our free disaster recovery plan templates, and read our step-by-step disaster recovery planning guides.

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IT disaster recovery plan template: A free download and sample plan

According to  National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning for Information Technology Systems, the following summarizes the ideal structure for an IT disaster recovery plan:

  • Develop the contingency planning policy statement. A formal policy provides the authority and guidance necessary to develop an effective contingency plan.
  • Conduct the business impact analysis (BIA). The business impact analysis helps to identify and prioritize critical IT systems and components.
  • Identify preventive controls. These are measures that reduce the effects of system disruptions and can increase system availability and reduce contingency life cycle costs.
  • Develop recovery strategies. Thorough recovery strategies ensure that the system can be recovered quickly and effectively following a disruption.
  • Develop an IT contingency plan. The contingency plan should contain detailed guidance and procedures for restoring a damaged system.
  • Plan testing, training and exercising. Testing the plan identifies planning gaps, whereas training prepares recovery personnel for plan activation; both activities improve plan effectiveness and overall agency preparedness.
  • Plan maintenance. The plan should be a living document that is updated regularly to remain current with system enhancements.

To get started with your IT DR plan, read this guide on IT disaster recovery plans, then download SearchDisasterRecovery's IT disaster recovery template

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A pandemic recovery plan template

Pandemic plans differ slightly from traditional disaster recovery and business continuity plans because they focus more on people and less on technology. When you think about the potential health threat to employees from a pandemic, a carefully designed pandemic recovery plan can help your organization remain viable, even if you have less staff members working in the office. This pandemic planning guide and SearchDisasterRecovery.com's free downloadable pandemic planning template provide an excellent starting point for pandemic planning.

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Business impact analysis template and methodology guide

A business impact analysis is an essential component of the business continuity (BC) process that analyzes mission-critical business functions, and identifies and quantifies the impact a loss of those functions may have on the organization. SearchDisasterRecovery.com has created a free downloadable business impact analysis template to help with your business continuity planning. Download and print out our template, and then read the step-by-step  business impact analysis guide for disaster recovery professionals to create a successful business impact analysis.

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Business continuity plan template

For many IT professionals, the business continuity and disaster recovery planning processes are very challenging. The business continuity (BC) planning process contains several steps. These include project initiation, risk assessment, business impact analysis, strategy development, plan development, plan exercising and maintenance, emergency communications, awareness and training and coordination with public authorities. SearchDisasterRecovery.com has created a free downloadable business continuity template to assist you in your business continuity planning. Download and print out our template, and then read the step-by-step guide on business continuity planning.

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IBM's free disaster recovery plan template

A disaster recovery plan will help you respond to a disaster or other emergency that affects information systems and minimize the effect on the operation of the business. IBM Corp. has provided a free downloadable disaster recovery template on its website. You can browse this template here; to print it, download and print the PDF file for this topic. Click here to use IBM's disaster recovery template.

Editor's tip: For even more information on disaster recovery templates, bookmark our special page on free disaster recovery plan templates.

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