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Disaster Recovery Planning Checklist

Disasters are unpredictable and can happen at any moment. The Disaster Recovery Checklist outlines the necessary steps to ensure you and your organization are at the ready before, during and after disaster strikes. These fundamental strategies should be incorporated into a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan. For an in-depth analysis on these strategies, consult the Disaster Recovery Workbook.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Identify Potential Disasters

These include fire and floods but also vandalism, power outages and workplace violence among others. Devise a plan based on those that could affect your business the most.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Eliminate Unnecessary Risks

Spot and remove any potential risks that could inhibit a prompt disaster response. Storage locations, unbraced shelving near an exit, physical structures, drain locations and water flow are all factors to consider.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

People Assets

Prepare a contact list for all staff, job descriptions, key contacts, vendors/suppliers, current customers and community partners. Consider a sign-in/out process for visitors to track who comes and goes.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Develop a Communication Strategy

Before, during and after all matter. Identify a spokesperson, create a generic template, identify multiple alert options (i.e. email, group text, phone tree, etc.). Keep employees and the public informed after a disaster with information on where to go, ways to help and more.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Data Assets

Whether it's via tape, offsite/cloud storage, DVD or hard copies, back up files and protect them. Maintain the ability to access the files and network remotely. Be sure to test these methods. Vital records should be properly stored, tracked and protected by cybersecurity measures.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Operational Steps

Before disaster hits, prioritize which administrative operation(s) will need to be restored first: accounts payable, payroll, mail, manufacturing, sales, space plans or equipment. Implement a financial model for covering payroll during a disruption.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Inventory Checks

Conduct frequent status checks of merchandise/manufacturing stock, raw materials, finished goods, workstation assets and office supplies. Store emergency supplies at the ready.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Equipment Checks

Prepare a status list of computers, phones, printers and pens, including the brand, serial numbers and where they were purchased. Prioritize what needs to be restored first and evaluate storing spare equipment offsite. While inventorying furniture and contents, assess the need to secure these items.

Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses

Building Assessment

Outline the physical structure(s), build year, construction type, blueprints, lease, title and any other useful components. Architectural elements and interior and exterior signage should be catalogued. Evacuation routes should be reviewed and practiced.

Additional Resources

Visit The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub for additional resources to help you protect your business or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in Greater Des Moines (DSM).