Disaster Recovery Plan Activation
How will your disaster recovery plan be activated? The disaster recovery plan is an insurance policy - you need it, and hope you never have to use it. But, if the need should arise, you must take action. A defined activation process makes that possible. To ensure timely activation, related steps and procedures must address life safety, chain of command, orderly process and effective communication.
Activation Criteria: To identify the specific disaster conditions triggering plan activation (according to type, severity, impact and duration).
Assessment Procedures: To evaluate potential disaster events in order to ensure that activation criteria have been met.
Approval Mechanisms: To obtain appropriate approvals for plan activation, considering IT management personnel, line of business management personnel, and company executives.
Activation Logistics: To ensure that all facilities and systems are available as needed to support plan activation, including the designated Command Center location, where most, if not all, disaster recovery "command and control" activities can be executed.
Communication Procedures: To inform all employees, and other interested parties (customers, vendors, suppliers, the public) of all activation related decisions and activities.
As DRP activation procedures are planned, the following issues must be addressed:
1. What types of events will trigger plan activation?
2. How will these events be evaluated to ensure that plan activation is appropriate?
3. Who will be involved in the event assessment process?
4. How will assessment recommendations be escalated to the appropriate decision makers?
5. Who must approve plan activation?
6. How many approvals are required?
7. How will plan activation be communicated?
[More for disaster recovery planning: Download the free Disaster Recovery Plan Template]
ACTIVATION PROCEDURES ILLUSTRATED:
React: A potential disaster event occurs.
1. The Disaster Recovery Coordinator
is notified that a potential disaster event has occurred.
2. The Disaster Response Team is alerted and evaluation steps are initiated.
3. The event is evaluated to determine whether the DRP should be activated, If the activation criteria are met, the approved DRP is activated, Note: If the disaster criteria have not been met, the event will likely be treated as a problem, and the appropriate problem management process should be activated.
Respond: Once the DRP is activated.
1. Life safety procedures are initiated as required,
2. Response and recovery procedures are initiated as appropriate to the disaster type, severity and duration.
3. Communication procedures are initiated as required.
4. DRP activities are executed and maintained as needed until permanent recovery is realized.
Recover: Once the disaster event is resolved.
1. Take any steps needed to resume normal technology operations
and related technical support services (replace damaged hardware,
consolidate data, etc.).
2. Maintain close communication with end-users, customers and technical support staff to ensure that all issues have been identified, addressed and resolved.
Evaluate: Improve future performance and results.
1. Conduct the DRP "lessons learned analysis" to evaluate DRP
relevancy, quality and effectiveness.
2. Apply identified "lessons learned" to improve future DRP performance.