Multipart article

Disaster Recovery Plan Template

In this article, you’ll find the most useful disaster plan templates, available for download in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF formats. Customize the free templates to fit your business needs so you can maintain productivity and operations in the event of a disaster.

 

Plan for your organization’s return to work with these helpful templates

Gauge employee concerns with returning to work, identify employees that need extended work from home plans, and create a phased return to work plan for your organization so you’re ready to reopen your business when the time is right.

Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Use this template to document and track all critical operations, personnel contact information, and key procedures to perform in the event of a disaster or business disruption. Use the designated space to record critical information, like the backup process, recovery sites, and restoration steps. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF | Smartsheet

 

Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan Template

Disaster Risk reduction Management Plan Template

Use this template to record the most essential information your organization needs in order to effectively gauge risks. Within the disaster risk reduction management plan, you’ll find space to detail risk severity and likelihood and outline it on a visual chart. Use this template to stay on top of risks and detail how to handle any disaster or disruption, no matter the severity.

Download Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan Template

Excel | PDF | Smartsheet

 

IT Disaster Plan Template

IT Disaster Recovery Plan Template

This template outlines the specific steps for continuing business operations and recovery in the IT field. Space is included to document IT objectives, key IT personnel and all necessary contact information, recovery plan overview, and emergency response teams. Available in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats, this template serves as a blueprint for recovering from all IT disruptions. .

Download IT Disaster Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Data Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Data Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Use this template to document the process for recovering key data after a disaster or disruption in business operations. With space to list a statement of intent, emergency response processes, financial and legal information, and recovery plan practice and implementation, this template will aid in the restoration of all critical business data.

Download Data Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 


Disaster Recovery Communication Plan Template

Disaster Recovery Communication Plan Template

 

This disaster recovery communication plan template will help you identify the core communications across team members in the event of a disaster. This template provides space to assign responsibilities, identify stakeholders, and set up a proper response plan. This template is available in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats.

Download Disaster Recovery Communication Plan Template

Word | PDF

 

Payroll Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Payroll Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Plan, track, and manage a disaster that affects the payroll process of your organization and hinders normal HR operations. You can use this template to detail key contact information, disaster recovery teams, and emergency alert and activation measures dealing with a disaster that affects typical payroll operations. This customizable template is available in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download Payroll Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

School Disaster Management Plan Template

School Disaster Management Plan Template

In the event of a disaster or emergency situation at a school, use this template to plan the exact details involved in the response, mitigation, and recovery plan. Manage all risks that could potentially plague schools, such as site security or power outages. With space to document a full risk assessment, a preparedness plan, and response actions, your school will be fully prepared.

Download School Disaster Management Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Disaster Management Plan Template

Disaster Management Plan Template

Use this comprehensive template to detail the response and management plan of your organization after a disaster strikes. With space to include an outline of your overall disaster recovery plan, key contact information, disaster recovery procedures, and alternate recovery sites, this template enables you to manage any catastrophe that may affect your organization.

Download Disaster Management Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Simple Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Businesses

Simple Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Business Template

This template offers a simple yet comprehensive recovery plan for small businesses when a disaster or emergency situation interrupts typical activity. You’ll find space to outline everything from recovery plans to backup procedures, and even disaster site rebuilding and relocation plans. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download Simple Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Businesses

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

SaaS Disaster Recovery Plan Template

SAAS Disaster Recovery Plan Template

This template is specifically designed for SaaS organizations to plan, manage, and assess the damage after a disaster occurs. Outline key objectives, provide a detailed overview, and assign responsibilities across emergency and disaster response teams with this comprehensive template available in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download SaaS Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 


Disaster Drill Evaluation Template

Disaster Drill Evaluation Template

Use this template during and after a disaster drill to evaluate the effectiveness of your organization’s plan. Record the type of disaster the drill is for, drill initiation and complete times, emergency response team accuracy, and lessons learned. Download and customize for your business needs, available in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats.

Download Disaster Drill Evaluation Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

Disaster Call Tree Template

Disaster Call Tree Template

Streamline the process of phone communication when an emergency occurs. Use this template to detail the person responsible for starting the call tree, as well as all of the people who then contact others to effectively and quickly alert all team members of the disaster.

Download Disaster Call Tree Template

Excel | Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template

In the event of a disaster that affects the normal manufacturing operations, use this template to outline the critical details needed to restore manufacturing. With space to document critical personnel responsibilities, contingency operations, backup locations, and more, manufacturing teams can continue or relocate operations to maintain normal functions as quickly as possible.

 

Download Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Disaster Recovery Runbook

Disaster Recovery Runbook Template

Use this template to document the steps to recovery from a disaster. You can apply this template across a multitude of business functions or teams. Easily document key details like communication strategies, disaster declaration and response procedures, infrastructure overviews, and restoration details in one place. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download Disaster Recovery Runbook

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Application Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Application Disaster Recovery Response Template

Use this template to document specific steps for recovering from a disaster or business disruption. There is space to include policy statements, contact information, and disaster and emergency response teams and procedures. This template is available to customize and download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

 

Download Application Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

Law Firm Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Law Firm Disaster Recovery Plan Template

This template offers specific recovery procedures and processes associated specifically with law firms. Document disaster response steps, personnel losses, new employee training, and office space information to effectively tackle the aftermath of a disaster that plagues a law company. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

Download Law Firm Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

 

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a step-by-step procedure that outlines how a business or organization will recover from disrupted systems, operations, processes, or networks. The aim of a DRP is to identify critical systems or procedures, prioritize recovery time objectives (RTOs), document key personnel contact information, and outline any necessary policies to follow in the event of a disaster.

 

What Is the Purpose of a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A DRP is an essential document for any business or organization, as it ensures that all normal business processes, infrastructure, and applications continue to operate when a major disaster strikes. Usually, a disaster recovery plan is included as part of the overall business impact analysis.

Additionally, the plan provides details for responding to unplanned incidents, which can include cyber attacks, environmental or natural disasters (flood, earthquake, landslide, volcano, tornado, etc.), power disruptions, fires, employee errors, hardware or software failures, terrorism or sabotage, bomb or shooter threats, and more.

A DRP can also minimize the negative impacts of disasters by helping to ensure that all business locations are kept safe. In addition to all of these positive effects of having a DRP, it also helps with the following:

  • Ensure employees and team members can react rapidly and restore activity effectively, in light of an emergency or disaster.
  • Capture, summarize, and organize critical information needed to restore business operations.
  • Develop, test, and document a detailed, easy-to-understand plan.
  • Secure contingency plans, and ensure they are cost effective.
  • Build resilience within the business.
  • Identify responsibilities of each team member, and outline disaster practices to ensure effectiveness.
  • Prepare and respond to emergencies most likely to plague certain business, teams, or roles.
  • Ensure the overall prosperity and survival of the business.

Most businesses cannot afford to be non-profitable and lose critical operations for an extended period of time. DRPs help to ensure that all operations can be restored in a quick, responsive manner.

 


Steps For Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

When you are writing your disaster recovery plan, start by conducting a thorough business impact analysis to identify your organization’s most essential parts or critical services and how a disaster might affect them. Assess the risk and impact associated with losing business functions in a disaster.

Look at historical or company background information to determine if any disasters have affected the organization in the past, and how they were consequently handled. Perform a gap analysis to compare what is currently being done to prevent or handle a disaster against what should be done, and see if there are missing components. Next, identify any existing preventive controls to mitigate disasters.

From there, you can start creating a disaster recovery plan by following these steps:

  1. Develop recovery strategies.
  2. Obtain management commitment and authorization to proceed with DRP creation.
  3. Classify and prioritize business operations.
  4. Set the scope of the DRP, either in covering a whole business, specific teams, or individual people.
  5. Develop the cost estimate and scheduling of the plan to share with key stakeholders.
  6. Determine supplies, equipment, and other infrastructure that must be maintained during a disaster.
  7. Establish an emergency communication system, usually through a call tree, and include support services and assistance information.
  8. Document emergency response actions and internal recovery strategies, and designate specific teams to carry them out, as well as dependent processes that must be handled in a particular order.
  9. Determine data and records backup and data restoration times to ensure timely IT recovery.
  10. Designate specific phases of your DRP, such as a response phase, resumption phase, and restoration phase.
  11. Identify “hot” and “cold” sites, when necessary.
  12. Plan an evacuation route.
  13. Include detailed instructions and contact information in the case of a medical emergency.
  14. Determine a comprehensive plan to rebuild a disaster site.
  15. Determine a hazard assessment to minimize exposure to risks and dangers.
  16. Create an emergency checklist to have on-hand when a disaster strikes.
  17. Conduct tests and trainings of the DRP.
  18. Perform an annual review of your DRP and document any necessary changes in the plan.

Who Are the Resources Involved in a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A DRP is comprised of many different human resources who are leveraged when a disaster or emergency strikes. These participants are usually grouped into teams to cover a variety of important responsibilities included in a DRP.

 

The plan development team helps craft the plan and assigns responsibilities to the other resources. The IT and application teams deal with disaster strategies that disrupt that portion of the business, and the emergency response team focuses on the overall emergency response process of the entire organization.

Within the emergency response team is a primary crisis manager and a company spokesperson who both focus on communicating and acting on emergency response procedures. An emergency contact helps in altering the rest of the business of the disaster, specifically to vendors or suppliers who may work remotely.

 

Tips For Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

Because a DRP is an important document for any business or organization to have, creating the most accurate, clear, and actionable plan can be daunting. The following tips can help:

  • Establish clearly defined roles for each team member.
  • Get support and buy-in from senior management.
  • Keep the wording and process description simple.
  • Review results with business units.
  • Be flexible and accept suggestions regarding all parts of the DRP.
  • Plan for emergencies most likely to happen where you live, or according to your business.
  • Detail what to do in the event of lost communication, evacuation, and safety threats.
  • Make sure you have a strong communication plan across your organization.
  • Always plan and prepare for the worst case scenario.
  • Conduct extensive risk assessments to ensure you are covering all your bases.
  • Consider the specific needs or accommodations of all employees.
  • Organize your team and perform practice plans before a disaster actually strikes.

Once you have completed the plan, ask the following questions to ensure that your DRP is coherent, comprehensive, and easy to implement:

  • Are all employees able to execute the plan, and is everyone aware of their role?
  • Are backup procedures detailed, and are they accessible within a desired timeline?
  • Are there specific contingency operations in place if one of the primary procedures fails?
  • Is the recovery time objective and recovery point objective (RPO) practical for your business and all of your team members?
  • Can systems be restored before an excessive amount of revenue or data is lost?

Examples of Effective Disaster Recovery Plans and Additional Resources

For more direction in creating the most appropriate and actionable DRP for your business, refer to these recovery plan examples to gain familiarity and understanding of how to write and what to include in a DRP.

  • MIT Disaster Recovery Plan: MIT outlines all critical components of a DRP, including purpose of plan, disaster response, disaster detection, and business continuity teams.
  • IBM Disaster Recovery Plan: IBM clearly documents key details of their business to minimize the effect of a disaster, including recovery procedures, recovery sites, major goals, and plan testing.

To gain an even better idea of how to create the best disaster recovery plan, and detail why every business should have one, refer to these helpful resources and reports:


Deploy Your Disaster Recovery Plan with Smartsheet

Because unexpected catastrophes can have serious negative effects on an organization, creating, testing, and refining a disaster recovery plan is essential. Once the plan is finalized, however, you’ll need a tool to deploy your strategy and monitor every arm of your business to ensure all activities return to normal.

Smartsheet is a work execution platform that enables enterprises and teams to get from idea to impact - fast. Leading HR and operations professionals rely on Smartsheet to help manage everything from simple onboarding tasks to complex disaster recovery plans.

Use Smartsheet to maximize ROI on operations, stay on top of  budget , and track internal planning and coordination. Streamline process and paperwork, maintain an auditable database without added effort, and grow your business with better informed, more productive employees.

Discover how Smartsheet can help maximize your human resources and operations efforts, today.

Try Smartsheet for Human Resources & Operations


Discover a real-time way to manage your HR & operations efforts, today.

Try Smartsheet for Free