Ideas That Click

Why Every Business Needs A Disaster Recovery Plan and How to Get Started Creating One

by Maureen Link

September 2014


September is National Preparedness Month, which is a perfect time for us to pause and consider the ramifications a disaster can have on a business.


According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. Of those that reopen, only 29 percent are still operating two years later. Those that lost their information technology for nine days or more file for bankruptcy within one year.


Disasters aren’t just hurricanes or earthquakes. Fires, floods, and even IT hackers can take down your business. A disaster is anything that makes it impossible for you, your employees, and your customers to come to your place of business or access vital information. To avoid becoming part of the failure rate statistic, it is crucial to think through how your business will operate immediately following a disaster.


Taking Time to Put It All Online

Owners are so busy with the day-to-day running of their businesses that it is difficult for them to find the time to protect their businesses from a disaster. However, investing some time in preparing for a disaster could mean the difference between a business closing its doors or thriving after a catastrophic event.


A key factor in maintaining business continuity during a disaster is the ability to access important information and maintain communication with employees, customers, and vendors. In addition to making sure you have battery-powered backup and devices, it’s important to take advantage of cloud technology to keep things moving. Cloud technology includes any program you can access online, such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, document storage, or project management tools. Not only will you be able to access vital company information from any device with Internet capabilities, but your data is physically safe from disaster.


Preparedness Is a Team Effort

Evaluating your business’s level of preparedness is not a one-person task. If you have employees, involve them in the planning. There is not one clear-cut way to ensure continuity, so having your employees provide their input and expertise into the plan is invaluable to the planning process. Employees may have some of the details of internal processes or customer information that you may not know.


Putting the Plan in Place

At Time Warner Cable Business Class, we work to support our customers’ recovery plans. We have partnerships with emergency operations centers in 29 states around the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center included us in their report, “Changing the Game: How Business Innovations Reduce the Impact of Disasters.”

For more information on preparing your business for recovery after a disaster and for details on the process of continuity planning, there are several organizations that can help, including and The U.S. Small Business Administration.






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