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You think you couldn't possibly lose one fourth of your staff. But if people are a priority, you have to start to think ahead—and think big.

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In addition to all those for a small disaster:

Know thy vendors: Maintain a current list of vendors that can provide contract personnel within a short time period (e.g., 12 to 24 hours) with skills that match your needs.

Know thy freelancers: Develop a list of contractors here and abroad who can perform specific roles, on short notice.

Teach potential backups: Train and keep trained consultants or other outside staff resources in key coding and operating skills

Standardize your systems: Avoid custom code. Use off-the-shelf software.

Buddy up: Create buddy-teams and buddy-offices throughout your organization; buddies back each other up

Budget accordingly: Determine how much you're willing to spend in a worst-case scenario—and spend it.

Build empty nests: Consider the use of unmanned data centers, managed remotely, to separate IT staff and resources. This way, personnel can go to work even if the data center is damaged.

Break it up: Segment recovery efforts so each recovery team knows the portion of overall plan for which they are responsible.

Split 'em up: Review senior management travel policies—key executives should not travel together.


This article was originally published on 2001-10-29
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