by Bruce Tucker

We all remember how New Orleans, LA looked after it was ravaged by hurricane Katrina. How can anyone forget? The sites of homes flooded up to the rooftops, people sitting by the Superdome with what seemed like no hope in sight.

Take into account the many businesses that were up and running before Katrina hit, and how many have disappeared because of it.

Imagine for a moment you are building your business. You sell widgets, you are buying, selling, tracking orders, doing account, and the many other facets of tasks that go into your business`s daily operation. In a moment`s notice, your business is wiped out. Not by bad financial planning, not by some bad accountant you hired or a lost account, but because of a natural disaster.

Is your business prepared to rebuild after a disaster? Is ready to pick up where it left off, as if nothing happened? If you answered no to both those questions then you need to get an emergency plan in place.

Backup your data. Believe it or not, even in today`s high tech world, a lot of businesses do not back up data properly. Some do it once a night and then the backup is in the same location as their main data centers. This makes no sense. If your building is wiped out, all of your data and all of your backup data is in the same place. You need to separate the two. You should do a backup of your system every night. There are many services out there that offer this at a nominal cost. When compared to what the cost will be when you lose all that data, hiring a firm that specializes in data backup and recovery will be well worth it.

Team organization. Even if you are able to rebuild your data center from your backups, if you and your team, meaning your employees, are not on the same page, and have no idea what the next steps are, or what their roles in the recovery are, you and your team will look like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. You should have a written plan in place as to what the efforts of each team member will be after a disaster occurs. Keeping everyone involved, and informed as to what they are responsible for, will make a transition to getting your business up and running again, a smooth one. This plan must be updated periodically, especially as employees come and go.

Write it all down. Finally, get the entire plan in writing. This plan, must be a detailed outline of steps and procedures as to exactly how to get the business up and running. It should also outline what each person is responsible for, how to get the data backup and running, who handles acquiring a temporary space to run the business and so on. This document, will be the most important item of your emergency plan, because it is the actual plan. Make sure each employee has a copy, as well as a saved version on your computer system so it gets backed up with all of your other data. Since you now have a separate vendor handling backup and recovery, your plan is safe. You may want to consider using document version control software such as Documentum. This type of software versions your plan with the ability of people making the changes of checking the document in and out, just the way a library works. When someone has it checked out, no one can make changes to it until they check it back in.

Get your emergency plan in place. You never know when a natural disaster is going to hit, and for that reason, you do not want to be unprepared when it does.

About the Author
Bruce A. Tucker is the Associate Director of, an online resource for individuals and businesses to post their products and services for sale and hire. You can follow Bruce on Twitter at

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  1. pacute said...
    yup, taga-neu po ako. ano pong course ninyo?
    Anonymous said...
    On the subject of file backup, sharing and storage ...

    Online backup is becoming common these days. It is estimated that 70-75% of all PC's will be connected to online backup services with in the next decade.

    Thousands of online backup companies exist, from one guy operating in his apartment to fortune 500 companies.

    Choosing the best online backup company will be very confusing and difficult. One website I find very helpful in making a decision to pick an online backup company is:

    This site lists more than 400 online backup companies in its directory and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.
    pacute said...
    Yup, spoon.
    Jan Alvin said...
    Thanks for the tip "anonymous"!

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