A Hurricane Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

By Michael
September 1, 2011

The destructiveness of Hurricane Irene is still fresh in mind here on the East Coast, and the storm’s disruption is still ongoing, bringing with it a reminder of how important disaster recovery planning is. And while hurricanes are typically limited to certain geographies, planning for them probably offers some lessons that prove valuable in data center planning for other disasters as well.

Unless your business is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Irene, now could be a good time to review a checklist for recovering your data center from a hurricane or other disaster. Industry web site Data Center Knowledge.com offers a concise yet thorough guide for hurricane disaster recovery planning. The author’s advice boils down to this:

  • Take inventory of IT equipment, complete with serial numbers and photographs, to show your insurance provider following a disaster.
  • Assess your risk. Understand what the impact of a hurricane or other disaster would be for your business in terms of revenue, the client experience and your brand reputation. Help the organization articulate how much data it could afford to lose and what your recovery time objectives (RTO) should be for each system or application.
  • Ensure mobile device security. Most disaster recovery plans involve at least some staff working remotely when your site is unavailable. Take steps to protect data on laptops and other devices, like flash drives, and make sure employees know how to do the same.
  • Test your disaster recovery plan regularly. Quarterly, test your plan. Don’t wait until a storm is brewing to find out if you’ll be able to recover your data or whether you and your vendors see eye-to-eye about RTO. Thoroughly test and drill your staff on your plan.

No one likes to think about the innumerable hypothetical disasters that could befall their businesses. But Hurricane Irene reminds us that this fear of the unknown is exactly why we need to conduct disaster recovery planning in the first place.

What is your DR plan? What advice do you have about developing one? Let us know in the comments section.


  1. great tips for me, i should share with my friends

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