Plan for a disaster and pray you never face one

disaster-planning-are-you-readyDoes your organisation have a disaster recovery process and have you tested the process to make sure any gaps are filled? You ask – what, exactly, is a disaster recovery process?

Imagine your organisation faced a natural disaster – an earthquake, flood, bush fire, or some other “act of God”. Or, imagine your building caught fire or faced some other sort of disaster. Would your organisation be prepared and be able to fully recover when it comes to your database? Sure, you may take a nightly back up of the database. The issue with most organisations is the backup files are typically housed within the organisation and often times right next to the servers. It is rare that organisations keep what is called a disaster recover file, which is a back up of last night’s back up and is stored externally or in the cloud. Some organisations have their data hosted at a supplier, which means the data is protected in the cloud and your organisation is relieved from the issue.

What is involved in a disaster recovery process? In addition to the suggested disaster recovery file stored offsite, or preferably in the cloud, test the process. Create an imaginary disaster, which you hope your organisation will never face and rebuild using the disaster recovery file. If your data is hosted with a supplier, ask them about their disaster recovery procedures. Require documentation and ask the supplier how often their own procedures are tested.

Days after the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand and the floods in Queensland in Australia, frantic calls were made asking suppliers whether their data was available from suppliers because the data was gone from their damaged servers. Your data is your non-profit organisation’s #1 asset. Protect it. Back it up. Create a disaster recovery file. Create disaster recovery processes. Finally, pray you will never have to implement those processes in a real life scenario.