Business Continuity Plan – Definition of a Disaster

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The definition of a disaster is an event that drastically reduces the ability to provide critical data processing services. Technology outages that exceed 24 to 48 hours is believed to be considered a disaster, but contractual services levels and critical customer systems influence the definition.

The typical disaster involves fire, flood, earthquake, hurricanes, or other damage to the facility and / or data center. This does not mean that technology outages (hardware failures, power, network failures, etc.) cannot invoke disaster recovery. Regardless of the event, a disaster declaration begins the formal process of Business Continuity Plan.

Disaster Declaration Criteria
– The following criteria have been identified as activities that can justify the declaration of a disaster:
– There is an actual or potential threat to human safety in the existing data center of facility
– There is an actual or potential threat to the building or equipment
– There is a need to relocate the data center to another facility

Purpose:

– The purpose of Business Continuity Plan is to document the strategies, personnel, procedures, and resources necessary to recover each department, following any type of disruption or disaster. The following objectives have been established for this plan:
– To define procedures for notification & activation of employees, customers, and vendors
– To define recovery procedures for the critical and non-critical business operations at an alternate location
– To define restoration procedures to return processing capabilities back to the primary location
– The Business Continuity Plan allows company to abide by industry best practices for protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of confidential and critical data.

Business Continuity Plan can be created in house or by using third party to create the plans for you. If you have employee resources to spare, it is recommended to use Complete Enterprise Contingency plan template suite which includes templates for Business Impact Analysis (BIA), facility risk assessment, technology disaster recovery plan, business continuity plan and testing & revision plan. The cost time consuming part of this project is data gathering.

If you use a third party to create the plan for you, your employees will still spend time in the project as they will have to complete the template give by the consulting company so to manage business Continuity Plan creation efficiently, it is recommend to use templates to complete 90% of the project and then use the consultants to complete the project. If you are company with less than 50 employees, you can view business continuity plan