Contingency planning and disaster recovery

As I look out on the waterlogged garden, my thoughts turn to general ‘disaster planning’. Every business, no matter what its size, should have a plan to deal with safety, disaster, and recovery.

Disaster or crisis situations will invariably arise at some time in one’s business life. Even if it is a ‘minor’ disaster like the hard disc of the pc/laptop crashing or the machine being stolen. Or a major one that many businesses here have experienced – premises flooded by saltwater.

So – be proactive, plan before the disaster or crisis hits, so you’ll be able to take things in your stride. Each business, small or large should be prepared for flood, fire, theft and break-down of IT equipment.

Disaster preparedness includes determining what the risk exposures are, and establishing plans and programs that take these exposures into account.

Identify risks

Have a brainstorming session with a colleague or friend where you visualise the worst possible scenario –

– No back-up of the almost completed project and deadline is looming, and your pc goes down? Ensure back-ups of all important data.

– Fire breaks out and you lose your equipment and the back-up cds? Plan to store a duplicate set of the most crucial ones in a separate place.

– You lose all your precious contact details including e-mail addresses? It takes a lot of time and energy to re-create a file of those. Back-up…

– Personal illness – most micros depend on one or two people – do you know someone who could help out or even take over existing projects?

I am sure you can think of many more scenarios.


The goal of the exercise is to ensure that you are prepared to get any disaster under control as quickly as possible to minimize the damage.