Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #3: Make a business continuity plan Posted on August 21, 2012 by Tim Burke By definition, no event that interrupts your organization’s operations is trivial, so when it comes to preparing for disaster that might impact your business IT, you need a plan that addresses all emergencies that could disrupt your business. To create an effective plan, you’ll need to: Involve employees in identifying those emergencies and developing ways to cope with them. Get them thinking through disruption scenarios — and document the results. The right service provider can help you determine these needs — and may even offer you a free assessment. Develop a communication plan (e.g., using cellphones, web-based email, instant messaging, Facebook) to stay in touch with your people should you be unable to use your facilities. You’ll also need a way for customers to interact with you. Prepare and train employees so they know what to do in case of a disruption. Responsibility for critical business functions should be assigned to the most appropriate employee, a meet-up location should be designated in case of evacuation, and you should pick out an alternative worksite in case your facilities are unusable. Don’t forget to distribute the plan to a secure online location that’s accessible to all employees 24/7. Next time: Putting your plan into action — with the right business continuity/disaster recovery solutions.