The 5 W's of Disaster Recovery Plans

UPDATED September 11, 2023

If you've read anything we've published. We're big on proactive planning for anything that comes your way. You can never be too careful. So if you don't have things like a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place between you and disaster, you might become one of the statistics over one of the survivors. But if you don't know if your DRP is effective or especially if you've never created one, it can be incredibly daunting to figure out where to start. Basically, you need to know the who, what, when, where, and when of a DRP. 

As residents of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, we’re especially sensitive to the devastating potential of hurricane season, aka everyone’s “favorite” time of year between June 1st and November 30th.  We're accustomed to the company shut downs and trying to figure out how to stay afloat (pun intended) when everything is under water. More than that, we're accustomed to reacting to disaster because we've been a part of disaster and we respond quickly, too. 

However, disaster is a versatile master that can strike in more ways than one. Anywhere from commercial or wildfires, theft and/or property damage, cyberattacks, wind damage, tornadoes, to something as simple as a power outage. 

You may be familiar with this disaster statistic already, but it’s worth mentioning that 40% of businesses never re-open after a disaster and only 54% of organizations have a company-wide disaster recovery plan in place (BusinessDIT). Sometimes, even with a Disaster Recovery Plan, businesses with a poor business continuity solution just can’t recover in time to repair the damage done to their business.

What is DRP?

A Disaster Recovery Plan measures you take from both an operational and IT standpoint to back up your company’s data in the event of a disruption from weather, hacking, or human error. To see a checklist on how to create one, check here, to evaluate your current DRP, check here

Who needs Disaster Recovery Plan?

Every business needs some form of strategy in place to proactively prepare for the worst, or even a slight inconvenience! Hurricanes are significantly worse than a power outage, but either way your system is shut down. In an increasingly digital world, a business’s most important assets are stored as data within your infrastructure. Even a simple one hour-long blackout can wreak havoc on your business’s ability to get back up and running without basic disaster recovery measures.

Where should the scope of a Disaster Recovery Plan reach?

Businesses need to establish their Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). Basically, you need to know what's going to be down, how long it's going to be down, and what you need back the fastest.  Knowing how long your business can be without its data is important because it helps you develop a plan that’s cost-effective while meeting your business objectives. A good plan does more than just anticipate data loss. It assesses the risks of data loss across the entire organization within each department.

When should a business develop a DRP?

If your business some time before doesn’t already have a strategy, or if you’re part of the 40% of companies who’s plan didn’t work when needed last year, you should develop a disaster recovery plan as soon as possible. We've been lucky this season without hurricanes and you still have time before the next one starts. However, especially in Texas and Louisiana, there are easily more factors that can cause disruptions than a hurricane. Oklahoma, are you ready for the tornadoes? 

Why Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The most important W: Why.

A disaster recovery plan is the most basic level of protection you can leverage to support your business after it gets struck by a disaster, manmade or otherwise. No business, in any region of the country, is immune to disruption, yet there is still a relatively surprising number of organizations (75% to be exact) that still fail from a disaster readiness standpoint.

Let’s work together to get your DRP in place to avoid “too late” scenarios. Contact Centre Technologies to learn more about our disaster recovery options.

Originally published on April 15, 2015

Be a thought leader and share:

Subscribe to Our Blog

About the Author

Emily Kirk Emily Kirk

Creative content writer and producer for Centre Technologies. I joined Centre after 5 years in Education where I fostered my great love for making learning easier for everyone. While my background may not be in IT, I am driven to engage with others and build lasting relationships on multiple fronts. My greatest passions are helping and showing others that with commitment and a little spark, you can understand foundational concepts and grasp complex ideas no matter their application (because I get to do it every day!). I am a lifelong learner with a genuine zeal to educate, inspire, and motivate all I engage with. I value transparency and community so lean in with me—it’s a good day to start learning something new! Learn more about Emily Kirk »

Follow on LinkedIn »