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5 Areas to Test When Running a Mock Disaster Preparedness Drill

disaster-preparedness-data-management	|	Photo Courtesy of	Depositphotos.com	http://depositphotos.com/18577871/stock-photo-Recovery-concept-with-cloud-computing.html?sqc=1&sqm=29&sq=1rqeab If you work in a large office building, you’re probably used to regular fire drills. People often complain about the inconvenience of having to walk down 20 flights of stairs and wait a half-hour to get back into the building. Given the choice, however, few would stake their lives on crossing their fingers and hoping disaster never strikes.

Every business, large or small, needs a disaster preparedness plan, but that’s only the first step. As with a fire drill, the only way to know you’re ready is to test it. In general, your company should test its plan at least once a year or any time there has been a big change in your business, such as major operations or infrastructure updates.

It’s important to test the waters for every aspect of your disaster recovery plan. While businesses may have different needs, most should test these five areas.

  1. Data backup: Try deleting a file and then retrieving it from your online backup.
  2. Network and connectivity: Using a new device or by resetting a computer to factory settings, try to connect to your virtual servers and access data. If these processes seem like a hassle now, they’ll be much more difficult when you’re dealing with a disaster.
  3. Other cloud services: Call up key vendors and distributors of other services like your financial management or payroll systems, describe a problem you’re experiencing and see what they can do for you. With any critical service, make sure your providers can keep their end of the service level agreement (SLA) in the event of a disaster.
  4. Remote workers: The first time an employee works remotely, you’re guaranteed to encounter technical problems. By practicing ahead of time, you can make sure people can connect properly to the tools they need for their work.
  5. Emergency communications: In the event of a disaster, you’ll need to be able to communicate with everyone in the company. Whether you use “robocalls” and SMS notifications or a simple contact list, take the time to test your emergency communications tree, noting any problem areas.

While every business needs to plan ahead for disaster, running a mock disaster preparedness drill is the only way to know you’re ready.

We appreciate your feedback. Which of these tips do you see as most important for your business? What are your experiences with running a disaster drill in a small business? Join the conversation in the comments section!