Disaster Recovery Plan

The following is a Sample disaster recovery plan. Please note that this plan is provided to generate ideas only on the creation of an organization’s plan. It is not intended to be a complete work. Plans can be developed using many different formats this represents just one. Additionally, not every recovery function is represented and not every plan component is presented.
Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan

1.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Overview

1.1 Policy Statement

It is the Policy of Sample Company (“Sample”) to maintain a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan for all critical organization functions.  Each department head is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and that their respective plan component is tested no less than annually.  Sample’s Disaster Recovery efforts exercise reasonable measures to protect employees, safeguard assets, and client accounts.

1.2 Introduction

This document is the Business Continuity Plan for Sample located at 911 Recovery Drive, Any Town, USA 99999. It has been developed in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1600.

This plan was specifically designed to guide Sample through a recovery effort of specifically identified organization functions. At the onset of an emergency condition, Sample employees and resources will respond quickly to any condition, which could impact Sample’s ability to perform its critical organization functions.  The procedures contained within have been designed to provide clear, concise and essential directions to recover from varying degrees of organization interruptions and disasters.

1.3 Confidentiality Statement

This manual is classified as the confidential property of Sample. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained herein, this manual is available only to those persons who have been designated as plan participants, assigned membership to one of the Sample recovery teams, or who otherwise play a direct role in the recovery process. This manual remains the property of Sample and may be repossessed at any time. Unauthorized use or duplication of this manual is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action and/or civil prosecution.

1.4 Manual Distribution

Each plan recipient will receive and maintain two (2) copies of the disaster recovery manual; one copy will be kept in the plan recipient’s work area; the second copy will be kept at the plan recipient’s residence. Each manual has a control number to track its distribution. Replacement manuals and additional copies may be obtained from Sample’s Disaster Recovery Manager. Backup copies of all recovery documentation are maintained at Iron Mountain.

1.5 Manual Reclamation

Plan recipients who cease to be an active member of a disaster recovery team or an employee of Sample must surrender both copies of their disaster recovery manual to the Disaster Recovery Manager. Sample reserves any and all rights to pursue the return of these manuals.

1.6 Plan Revision Date

The latest manual revision date appears in the lower right hand corner of the footer.  This date indicates the most published date of the plan section.

1.7 Defined Scenario

A disaster is defined as a disruption of normal organization functions where the expected time for returning to normalcy would seriously impact Sample’s ability to maintain customer commitments and regulatory compliance. Sample’s recovery and restoration program is designed to support a recovery effort where Sample would not have access to its facilities and data at the onset of the emergency condition.

1.8 Recovery Objectives

The Sample Disaster Recovery Plan was written with the following objectives:

  • To ensure the life/safety of all Sample employees throughout the emergency condition, disaster declaration, and recovery process.
  • To reestablish the essential organization related services provided by Sample within their required recovery window as identified in the recovery portfolio in Section 2 at the declaration of disaster.
  • To suspend all non-essential activities until normal and full organization functions have been restored.
  • To mitigate the impact to Sample’s customers through the rapid implementation of effective recovery strategies as defined herein.
  • To reduce confusion and misinformation by providing a clearly defined command and control structure.
  • To consider relocation of personnel and facilities as a recovery strategy of last resort.

1.9 Plan Exclusions

The Sample Disaster Recovery Plan was developed with the following exclusions:

  • Succession of Management
  • Restoration of the Primary Facilities

1.10 Plan Assumptions

Sample’s Disaster Recovery Plan was developed under certain assumptions in order for the plan to address a broad spectrum of disaster scenarios.  These assumptions are:

  • Sample’s recovery efforts are based on the premise that any resources required for the restoration of critical organization functions will reside outside of the primary facility.
  • Any vital records required for recovery can be either retrieved or recreated from an off-site location and moved to the recovery facility within 24 hours.

1.11 Declaration Initiatives

Sample’s decision process for implementing any of the three levels of recovery strategies to support the restoration of critical organization functions are based on the following declaration initiatives:

  • Every reasonable effort has been made to provide critical services to Sample’s customers by first attempting to restore the primary facility and / or operate using intra-day procedures.
  • After all reasonable efforts have failed to restore the primary facility, and using manual procedures severely degrades client support, Sample would invoke a recovery strategy that requires the relocation of personnel and resources to an alternate recovery facility.
  • If the outage will clearly extended past the acceptable period of time identified in the Recovery Portfolio, (Section 2) a declaration of disaster will immediately be made.

1.12 Recovery Strategies

In order to facilitate a recovery regardless of the type or duration of disaster, Sample has implemented multiple recovery strategies.  These strategies are categorized into three (3) levels.  Each level is designed to provide an effective recovery solution equally matched to the duration of the emergency condition.


A short-term outage is defined as the period of time Sample does not require computerized operations, or where an outage window of the same day or less would not allow adequate time to restore / utilize automated recovery operations.


A medium-term outage is defined as the period of time that Sample will execute its formal disaster recovery strategy, which includes actually declaring a disaster.  A disaster may either be declared company wide or only for the effected department or building.  The decision to declare a disaster will be based on the amount of time / expense that is required to implement the formal recovery and the anticipated impact to Sample’s organization over this period of time.


A long-term outage is defined, as the period of time that Sample will exceed the allowed occupancy time of its primary recovery strategy.  During this phase of recovery Sample will initiate a physical move of personnel and resources.

1.13 Team Overview

During an emergency each team member contributes the skills that they use in their everyday work to the overall response.

1.14 Team Charters

Crisis Management Team – The CMT is comprised of senior Sample management and is responsible for authorizing declarations of disaster, emergency investment strategy, approving public release of information, and ensuring donors and constituents are informed.

Emergency Response Team – The ERT is first on scene to assess the damage caused by the disaster or ensure precautionary measures are taken in light of any impending disaster (e.g. inclement weather, etc.)  Once the ERT determines the extent of the disaster, they will either order an evacuation of the facility or work with facilities to mitigate the effects to Sample.

Recovery Site Team– The RST Team provides enterprise-level support for both the physical site and technology issues.  The members of this team will ensure that the alternate site is ready, and adequate for arriving recovery personnel. The RST will be the first at a meeting point or alternate site in order to register arriving personnel.

Business Restoration Team – The BRT’S consist of personnel from each Sample area deemed critical to the continuation of Sample. The captains of the BRT get updated status from the ERT and the RST to pass on to their team members to ensure prompt recovery of each department.

2.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Recovery Strategies

The following are the identified recovery strategies for the organization:

Recovery Area: Primary Strategy: Backup Strategy:
 Office Space Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Phone System Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Network Recovery Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Server Recovery Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Desktop Recovery  Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Office Furniture  Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )


Recovery Area: Primary Strategy: Backup Strategy:
 Office Equipment Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Applications Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )



Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Service Providers Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )
 Employees  Mobilization Time: (    )  Mobilization Time: (    )

2.1 Emergency Phone Numbers

Complete the following to ensure that you have identified all the

Emergency services
  1. 1.    Police:                               (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Fire:                                   (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Alarm Company:              (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Ambulance:                       (____) ____ – ______


  1. 1.    Local Telco:                      (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Long distance carrier:       (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Direct dial numbers:          (____) ____ – ______      (____) ____ – ______


Weather information
  1. 1.    NOAA:                              (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Radio station:                    AM 750


  1. 3.    Weather channel:              36


  1. 4.    Weather channel:              https//:www.weather.com


Maintenance & repair
  1. 1.    Janitorial:                           (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    HVAC:                               (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Electrical:                          (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Glazer:                              (____) ____ – ______


  1. 5.    Carpentry:                         (____) ____ – ______


  1. 6.    Plumbing:                          (____) ____ – ______




  1. 1.    Travel agent:                     (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Express shipping:              (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Taxi/limo service:              (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Charter air service:           (____) ____ – ______


IT services


  1. 1.    Hardware VAR:                (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Software VAR:                  (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Network equipment:         (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Server quick-ship:             (____) ____ – ______


  1. 5.    Desktop quick-ship:          (____) ____ – ______




  1. 1.    Electrical:                          (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Gas:                                  (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Water:                               (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Sewer:                               (____) ____ – ______


  1. 5.    Sanitation:                         (____) ____ – ______


Employee assistance               


  1. 1.    Child care:                         (____) ____ – ______


  1. 2.    Elderly care:                      (____) ____ – ______


  1. 3.    Concierge services:          (____) ____ – ______


  1. 4.    Pet care:                           (____) ____ – ______


2.3 Threat Profile

Hazard: Profile of Hazard: First Response:
Freezing Rain Freezing rain is rain occurring when surface temperatures are below freezing.  The moisture falls in liquid form, but freezes upon impact, resulting in a coating of ice glaze on exposed objects.  This occurrence may be called an ice storm when a substantial glaze layer accumulates.  Ice forming on exposed objects generally ranges from a thin glaze to coatings about an inch thick.  A heavy accumulation of ice, especially when accompanied by high winds devastates trees and transmission lines.  Sidewalks, streets and highways become extremely hazardous to pedestrians and motorists.  During the winter citizens should be prepared to shelter themselves at home for several days possibly without power. Local shelters can be opened in areas where power is not affected but transportation to a shelter may be difficult. Step 1: Monitor weather advisoriesStep 2: Notify on-site employeesStep 3: Call local radio and TV stations   to broadcast weather closing information for employees at homeStep 4: Place closing sign on all Sample doors

Step 5: Arrange for snow and ice removal



Tornadoes Tornadoes are violent rotating columns of air, which descend from severe thunderstorm cloud systems.  They are normally short-lived local storms containing high-speed winds usually rotating in a counter-clockwise direction.  These are often observable as a funnel-shaped appendage to a thunderstorm cloud.  The funnel is initially composed to nothing more than condensed water vapor.  It usually picks up dust and debris, which eventually darkens the entire funnel.  A tornado can cause damage even though the funnel does not appear to touch the ground. Step 1: Monitor weather conditionsStep 2: Notify employees of potential of severe weatherStep 3: Power off equipmentStep 4: Shut off utilities (power and gas)

Step 5: Instruct employees to assume protective posture

Step 6: Assess damage once storm passes

Step 7: Assist affected employees



Floods In several areas of SampleCounty, unusually heavy rains may cause “flash” floods.  Small creeks, gullies, dry streambeds, ravines, culverts or even low lying round frequently flood quickly.  In such situations, people are endangered before any warning can be given. Step 1: Monitor flood advisoriesStep 2: Determine flood potential to SampleStep 3: Determine employees at riskStep 4: Pre-stage emergency power generating equipment

Step 5: Assess damage


Hazard: Profile of Hazard: First Response:
Hurricanes Even though Sample’s County is not considered a coastal area, hurricanes do affect our area.  Hurricane Hugo (1989) devastated most of theCarolinas, as it marched inland some 200 miles. Step 1: Power-off all equipmentStep 2: Listen to Hurricane advisoriesStep 3: Evacuate area, if flooding is possibleStep 4: Check gas, water and electrical lines for  damage

Step 5: Do not use telephones, in the event of severe lightning

Step 6: Assess damage

An earthquake is the shaking, or trembling, of the earth’s crust, caused by underground volcanic forces of breaking and shifting rock beneath the earth’s surface.  The New Madrid Fault, which runs through the mountains of Tennessee, can/will cause considerable damage in the Sample area, should it become active. Step 1: Shut off utilitiesStep 2: Evacuate building if necessaryStep 3: Account for all personnelStep 4: Determine impact of organization disruption



Power failures occur in many parts of the county throughout the year.  They can be caused by winter storms, lightning or construction equipment digging in the wrong location.   For whatever the reason, power outages in a major metropolitan area can severely impact the entire community. Step 1: Wait 5-10 minutesStep 2: Power-off all Servers after soft shut down procedureStep 3: Shut down main circuit located on the bottom floorStep 4: Use emergency phone line to make outgoing phone calls

Step 5: Call power company for assessment

Step 6: Locate sources of mobile power

Step 7: Contact electrical company

Step 8: Re-energize building

Step 9: Power-on equipment

Urban Fires In metropolitan areas, urban fires can, and do, cause hundreds of deaths each year and Sample’s County is no exception. Even with strict building codes and exceptions, citizens still parish needlessly in fires. Step 1: Attempt to suppress fire in early stagesStep 2: Evacuate personnel on alarm, as necessaryStep 3: Notify fire departmentStep 4: Shut off utilities

Step 5: Account for all personnel

Step 6: Search for missing personnel

Step 7: Asses damage


2.4 Recovery Strategy Overview

Sample’s Business Continuity Recovery is based on the organization surviving the loss of facilities and/or key personnel and systems during a disaster.


Once Sample’s ERT has determined that a declaration of disaster is required, the following sequence of events will occur:


Steps: Instruction:

1: Evacuate affected facility.

If the emergency requires an evacuation of employees, execute evacuation plans contained in the Emergency Procedures section.

2: Go to staging area.

Follow building evacuation instructions.

3: Determine length of outage.

Review written and verbal damage assessment reports from facilities and civil authorities and then estimate the amount of time the facility will be uninhabitable.

4: Select disaster level.

Based on the estimated duration of the outage, declare the disaster event as either a L1 (Less than 48hrs.), L2 (48hrs. to 6 weeks), or L3 (6 weeks or longer).

5: Activate alternate facilities.

Contact alternate facilities identified in the Facilities section.  Confirm their availability and alert them of estimated arrival time.

6: Release personnel from the staging area.

Once the disaster level has been selected, release all personnel from the staging area to their assigned recovery location.

  • Non-essential personnel – Home
  • Recovery Site Team – Alternate Facility
  • End Users –  Alternate Facility
  • CommandCenterStaff – Alternate Facility
  • Crisis Management Team – Alternate Facility

7:  RST establish Command Center.

RST personnel are the first to arrive at the alternate facility to setup and organize the command center prior to the arrival of the CMT and support personnel.  The following representatives are required at theCommandCenterwithin 1-3 hours:

  • Crisis Management Team
  • Emergency Response Team Lead
  • Business Restoration Team Lead
  • Recovery Site Team Lead

8: Establish situation desk.

At the command center, establish a dedicated line with operator to field all incoming calls.  Announce command center phone number to all recovery participants.

9: Review recovery matrix.

Review the Recovery Matrix Section on a department by department basis to determine who is most effected by the disaster.  Group departments by recovery resource requirements, time frames, and co-location requirements.

10: Create technology shopping list.

Once the technology requirements of the effected department(s) are known, create a requirements list for the IT support staff.


Steps: Instruction:

11: Contact quick ship vendors.

Using the vendor quick-ship contacts or local sources located in the LAN Restoration section order replacement technology indicated on requirements list.

12: Retrieve electronic/hardcopy vital records,

Retrieve vital records fromIronMountainor other locations as indicated in the Vital Records section.  Have vital records shipped and staged at the alternate facility.
13: Setup replacement LAN. The priority of Sample Server restoration to support all other Sample Business functions is:

  • Core technology
  • End-user servers
14: Activate short-term recovery strategies. Instruct each department to initiate their short-term recovery strategies. These strategies will be used while the replacement LAN/WAN circuits are implemented.
15: Populate alternate facility. Once the replacement LAN/WAN is functional, notify the BRT that departments can now begin executing their L2 recovery strategies.


2.5 Plan Participants

The following presents the Sample plan participants and their associated recovery function.  At the time of a disaster, these individuals will be among the first to be contacted.


Recovery Role: Primary: Alternate:
Recovery Manager Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Voice Recovery Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

IT Recovery Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________


Recovery Role: Primary: Alternate:
Network Recovery Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Administrative Support Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________

Name: _____________________________Title:  ______________________________


Office: _____________________________


Cell: _______________________________


Home: _____________________________


E-mail: _____________________________


Pager/other:  ________________________


2.6 Alternate Site Setup


Once the alternate site has been secured, the RST’s will work with the event staff to configure appropriate command enter and recovery space.

The following provides Sample configurations for general work areas and the command center.


Recovery Area: Configuration:
Command Center
  • Occupancy – 15
  • Room – private, 750-sq. ft.
  • Conference table
  • Phones – 15
  • Facsimile – 2
  • Office Equipment – copier, typewriter, PC, printer, folding tables
  • Office supplies – flip charts, stationary, writing supplies
  • Communications – Walkie-talkies, tape recorder, cellular phones
Work Area Recovery
  • Occupancy – 50
  • Room – 5000- sq. ft.
  • Folding Tables- each workstation needs to be 3ft apart
  • Phones – 50
  • Facsimile – 3
  • Office Equipment – copier, typewriter, tape recorder, 15 pre-configured laptops
  • Office supplies – flip charts, stationary, writing supplies
  • Communications – 3 fax lines, 10 modem lines, 50 voice lines
Mail Room
  • Occupancy – 2
  • Room – 250-sq.ft.
  • Phone – 1
  • Office Equipment – scale, postage meter
  • Supplies – Mailing/shipping supplies
Vital Records Staging
  • Occupancy – 2
  • Room – private, 300 sq. ft.
  • Office Equipment – folding tables, metal racks


3.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Recovery Ranking

The following organization processes will be recovered within the sequence specified below:



Organization Process: Potential Impact:

Allowable Downtime:




































4.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Recovery Team Checklists

Develop checklist for each recovery function:


Recovery Function: Administration Primary: Jane Doe
Alternate: John Doe
Alternate Locations: Primary Staging Area:   Alternate Staging Area:  
Primary Work Area:   Alternate Work Area:  
Charter: Responsible for all of the administrative aspects of the recovery effort. This includes maintaining the plan currency, activating the command center and providing logistics and employee assistance support during the recovery effort.
 Retrieval List: The following items should be removed from your work area if you are evacuated from the building: 

  1. 1.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 2.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 3.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 4.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 5.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 6.    _____________________________________________________


 Recovery Resources: In order to perform your recovery efforts, you will need access to the following resources:















Ê Fax



 Recovery Steps:
The following are the recovery tasks to be followed: 

  1. 1.    Retrieve important items form work area


  1. 2.    Evacuate building


  1. 3.    Go to primary staging area


  1. 4.    Wait for all clear or activation notice


  1. 5.    Go to designated recovery location


  1. 6.    Execute calling tree


  1. 7.    ___________________________________________________


  1. 8.    ___________________________________________________


  1. 9.    ___________________________________________________


  1. 10.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 11.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 12.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 13.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 14.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 15.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 16.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 17.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 18.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 19.  ___________________________________________________


  1. 20.  ___________________________________________________



 Calling List: You are responsible for calling the following employees and/or companies: 

  1. 1.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 2.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 3.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 4.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 5.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 6.    _____________________________________________________


 Vital Records: The following documents and/or electronic media will be required for your recovery effort: 

  1. 1.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 2.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 3.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 4.    _____________________________________________________


  1. 5.    _____________________________________________________



5.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Emergency Contacts


5.1 Vendor Dependencies

All plans require a comprehensive listing of external contacts:


Provider: Contact: Purpose:

APC Corp.


Power protection systems

Agility Recovery Solutions


Mobile recovery resources

Belfor, Inc.


Electronics restorations

BMS Catastrophic


Damage restoration (fire & water)

Crisis Care Network


Crisis management

Data Protection


Online data backup

Electronic Restoration Services


Data restoration services

Emergency Lifeline Corp.


Disaster response kits

FedEx Custom Critical


Expedited shipping

Generac Power Systems


Emergency power supply



Crisis management

Iron Mountain


Off-site data storage

Kohler Rental Power


Diesel generators.

Mail-Gard Continuity & Recovery Services


Mail processing recovery

Media Recovery, Inc.


Damaged media recovery

Network Services, Inc.


Satellite linked command center

Renew Data Corp.


Data recovery and forensics

Rentsys Recovery Services


Emergency technology recovery

Service Master


Fire, smoke & water restoration

Servpro Industries


Cleanup and restoration services

SunGard recovery Services


Hot sites, warm sites, and cold sites

 6.0 Disaster Recovery Plan Emergency Procedures


This section is reserved for specialized emergency procedures.