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How to get all hands on deck—when half your hands are gone. Not so simple steps to take when survival's at stake.

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Beyond the solutions for small and medium disasters:

Go deep: Make plans to back up the backups, so second, third, and fourth-level personnel can be relied on to perform essential duties if higher-ups are lost or out of communication.

Automate: Be prepared to let business run itself, as much as possible, during crisis period. Determine the minimal amount of supervision needed.

Prioritize: Know in advance what processes are most critical to restore and stick to the priorities, during recovery.

Call in chits: Call on contacts with counterparts at firms of similar size, scope and business purpose. Ask for local and remote help.

Announce: Be prepared to make regular and updated declarations of the steps the enterprise is taking to deal with the crisis to staff, shareholders, customers, business partners.

Pre-negotiate: If you have firm agreements with backup recovery services for specific personnel needs in emergencies, you'll have first call on them when disaster strikes.

Keep moving: Enact pre-established emergency decision-making hierarchy that comes into play when some executives are suddenly unavailable.

Keep organized: Establish a clear management succession plan in case some executives are not able to return.

Keep separated: Make sure senior managers are working from disparate locations, so an entire team is not lost

Comfort and communicate: Set up a toll-free telephone number that personnel and their loved ones can use to receive and disseminate information.


This article was originally published on 2001-10-29
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