As you prepare to develop and document the IT disaster recovery plans for the components that support critical business processes, you should know what exactly goes into a DR plan, how to structure it, and how to manage the contents of the plan.

Disaster recovery plans should contain

  • Disaster declaration procedures.

  • Emergency contact lists.

  • Emergency leadership and role selection.

  • Damage assessment procedures.

  • System recovery and restart procedures.

  • Procedure on how to transition to normal operations.

Keep plan documents under version control, use consistent formatting, have subject matter experts review the plan, test the plan's efficacy, and distribute the documents to all likely disaster recovery team personnel.

After you write the DR plan, publish it in forms that make it available to recovery personnel: Distribute them in multiple forms (including hard copy, CD-ROM, USB drive, and so on) so emergency response personnel can actually access those plans from wherever they are, without having to depend on the same IT systems that they may be expected to recover.