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Disaster recovery — is your business prepared?

Posted: March 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Is your business prepared for a disaster? While it is not something any of us like to think about, businesses should have a disaster plan in place.

Disasters are not just external or natural in nature. They could also be internal, technical or human-related. If a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs, it may impact the general geographic area, thereby affecting transportation and employees’ ability to come to work. A partial or complete crash of information systems or the attack by a myriad of computer viruses could render a business helpless in meeting production deadlines and ascertaining its financial position.

Most small to medium companies do not have contingency plans for catastrophes in place, which, according to many experts, can result in their demise in the wake of a disaster.

David Paulison, former executive director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), stated, “We see anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of those that are hit simply don’t come back to business.”

Many businesses today rely heavily on technology and automated systems, and disruption for even a few days could cause severe financial loss and threaten survival. Continued operations depend on management’s awareness of potential disasters and the capacity to develop a plan to minimize disruptions of daily operations.

The primary objective of your disaster recovery plan is to protect the organization when all or part of its operations and/or computer services are disrupted for a length of time. Consider the effects of liability, economic loss, disruptions to operations, organization stability, asset protection and the safety of personnel.

■ Provide a sense of security. Let management and personnel know that alternatives have been considered for continued operations and that responsibilities of key personnel have been identified.

■ Minimize the risk of delays. Plan for setting up and/or changing operating locations to ensure an operational system is available when needed and that management has anticipated its needs for the recovery.

■ Guarantee the reliability of standby systems. An adequately tested plan helps guarantee that standby systems will perform reliably and effectively. This reliability builds confidence that the system will continue to be operational for the time necessary to allow recovery activities to be completed.

■ Streamline decision-making during a disaster. Prepare for as many situations as possible before a disaster occurs. It may be difficult for management to make critical decisions under high stress and short deadlines. A disaster recovery plan can be the vehicle to accomplish many of the critical communications and decisions required under adverse conditions.

In addition to developing a plan to ensure the perpetuity of your business, emergency drills and back up information system testing should be performed on a regular basis. Don’t wait for a disaster; schedule it now.
Mission Valley Bank is a locally-owned, full service, community business bank headquartered in Sun Valley, Calif., with branch offices in Santa Clarita. Marianne Cederlind is the Senior Vice President and Chief Business Banking Officer and was named “Most Trusted Advisor — Business Banking” in 2012. She can be reached at 818-394-2300. For more information visit




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