Making a Disaster Plan that includes Physical Security

October 29, 2014

A disaster has the ability to destroy a business. The Katrina Hurricane in the US not only destroyed the homes of people, but businesses too. The best way to protect your business from any disaster is to come up with a Disaster Recovery Plan. It enables you to prepare for the worst, whether it is a natural disaster, robbery or a fire.

So how do you create one?

Disaster Timeline

One of the first things to tackle in your plan is the disaster timeline.




It starts from finding about the oncoming disaster, or in cases where it is sudden,the disaster actually hits your business. Emergency management is all about managing the disaster at hand, followed up by recovering from it and then finally getting back to normalizing the business operation which is business continuity.

Components of Disaster Recovery Plan

– Introduction

The introduction is basically about the purpose of the plan.

– Roles and Responsibility

If you are a large organization, then roles and responsibilities matter a lot. It gives emergency decision making powers to employees so they can deal with the situation on hand and prevent a business from freezing up.

– Incident Response

It all depends on the scenario on hand and the response needed, we’ll come to this later.

– Recovery Procedure

Once the problem has abated, how does the business get back on its feet to reach its usual functioning operation?

Incident Response

Take stock of your business location, the common industrial disaster you can experience and other threats. What are the possible disasters that can happen?

– Fire

– Robbery

– Snow Storm

These three are just some of the disasters you may experienceif you are in Edmonton.

– For a fire scenario, you will have to have an evacuation plan ready to get everyone out safely.

– For a robbery, you will have to contact the police immediately and as much as possible keep people away from the affected area.

– A snow storm may force you to shut the office. Depending on the office location, it may require you to have some form of security. Or if people are stuck in the office, they need to have access to emergency supplies.

Recovery Procedure

What are the steps needed to get your business back on its feet.

– Data Recovery

All your office servers, mails, important data needs to be recovered. Hopefully, the fire hasn’t damaged your critical systems, but if it has, what should you do? One option is to call a recovery expert.

– Fix the Office

How much damage has the fire or natural disaster caused? You will have to take stock of it and hire a professional to fix the damages.

Physical Security

You will find massive attention is given to data recovery, but many disaster recovery plans fall short on physical security. If your office has experienced a robbery or a fire, what can you do? If you are a victim of robbery, you will want to have strong security systems in place in terms of surveillance.

All your vital documents are open for anyone, your office furniture can be stolen and your office area can become a haven for vandals during a disaster or after a fire when the building is evacuated.

You need to physically secure the perimeter. Looting is not uncommon during a large natural disaster. Signing an emergency response with a security firm is a good way to physically secure your business.

Finally, all of this information is difficult for a quick read, so you make a table.




Initial ReponsesRecovery Procedure
Fire– Ensure everyone follows the evacuation plan and gets out of the building safely- Contact emergency service- Secure the office perimeter – Data recovery- Evaluating fire damage.- Repairing the office.
Robbery– Secure the area- Contact the Police- Evaluate what has been robbed

– Installing a tough locking system.

– Have a surveillance system installed

– Acquire any missing materials needed for the office

Snow Storm– Send employees home before it strikes- If it is sudden, access the emergency supplies.- If no one is at the office, have a security firm secure the perimeter to prevent any looting.

– Evaluating the damage.

– Ensuring the water, electricity, internet and other connections are working.


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