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Maybe only a small portion of your staff will be affected by the next disaster. But can you tell which part?

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Document, document, document: Put all your knowledge about applications and operations into "run books'' that let others step in, in a pinch

Keep a clear organizational chart: Know who is responsible for every task

Keep up-to-date contact info: Know how to find all your staff at any time, through phone, e-mail, pager numbers and even instant-message handles.

Cross-train: Mandate training of all staff, so each member knows the job of at least one other staff member.

Multiple shifts: Where possible, operate at least two shifts. One shift becomes the backup for the other.

Disperse talent: Spread people around, so no two people in same position are in same locale

Identify key managers and workers: Know who is irreplaceable; and figure out how to replace them, on an instant's notice.

Wild cards: Keep an inventory of personnel with special training or experiences.

Monitor travel: Require all staff to book travel through company agency.

Set up remote workplaces: Make sure every staff member has the necessary equipment to work at home or another remote location in an emergency.


This article was originally published on 2001-10-29
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