Disaster Preparedness: Creating A Plan

Disaster Planning and the Academic Career

Email Print Before you can implement a disaster-preparedness strategy for your IT infrastructure, you’ve got to create an official plan. This critical document should detail every conceivable emergency that could reasonably befall your organization, pinpoint mission-critical applications and systems, and be signed off by all key figures in your organizationincluding executive management, human resources, and those responsible for facility management. Pre-pre planning steps were outlined in the first part of this series . In this article, we’ll tell you how to execute the plan itself. Once you’ve met with key stakeholders and identified potential disaster scenarios, such as the loss of critical applications and data that could bring the organization to a standstill (and possible demise), your plan still has to be documented. It’s important to have a concrete plan in a concise written format to distribute to staff, so that no one is left in the dark when it comes to knowing what to do in the event of disaster. To guide you through creating the plan, here is a checklist of what an effective plan should contain. The Checklist Identify mission-critical apps, systems, and platforms You need to cut the meat from the fat when identifying which components of an infrastructure absolutely must be available in time of a disaster. This spotlights the importance of an up-to-date inventory assessment of hardware and software. Know every piece of software or hardware running in the infrastructure, including anything virtualized. It pays to not only invest in a good asset-management solution, but also to keep a log file on all software and updates. This way you not only know what the entire IT inventory is in case of loss from a disaster, but you can compile a list and check off which systems absolutely must remain operational during a crisis, and which you can live without temporarily.
Many Thanks to: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2408801,00.asp

How to Plan for a Disaster and What to Do if You’re a Disaster Victim

Not only can on-premise infrastructure sustain damage, but so can telecommunication providers’ equipment. During a catastrophic event, Internet connectivity and land-line and mobile-communication networks can go down and remain unavailable for an extended period after the disaster. It’s also critical to consider business-specific disaster requirements. Certain industries may have other problems endemic to their field. For example, a healthcare facility may need to evacuate patients. IT may be called upon to generate ad-hoc reports such as patient lists to ensure that all patients can accounted for, or perhaps to create a report specifying the types of medications or equipment that must travel with a patient during a relocation. The problem, of course, is that IT may not be familiar enough with the inner workings of other departments in a business to know what’s required in the time of disasters. This is why inter-department planning for disaster preparedness is important. A required step in pre-planning a disaster preparedness strategy is meeting with all representatives of every department in an organization and finding out which key functions, information, and systems must be available in an emergency. Executive Management, Human Resources, IT and Facilities departments will often spearhead setting the agenda and schedules for these meetings. Meetings should be regularly held until all decision makers and departments have identified the most critical businesses systems and processes that could have devastating effects on the organization if they go down.
You will find the full content over at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2408092,00.asp

Red Cross Urges Households to Develop an Emergency Plan During National Preparedness Month

In event of a pending or significant disaster, turning off the electric, gas and water utilities — if it can be safely done — can help prevent secondary fires, explosions and internal flooding to your residence. Make copies (front and back) of the documents that confirm your identity and allow you to buy what you need. Birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; Social Security, voter’s registration and medical insurance cards; credit and debit cards. Also, make sure you have the customer service information for financial institutions and credit card companies as well as your credit and debit card numbers so you can contact them immediately and arrange for credit and debit card replacement in the event they are lost. You may wish to store this information in an encrypted file so that you can access it online.
Full information accessible here: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/plan-disaster/story?id=19581171

Disaster Preparedness: Planning Ahead

Which hazards are you likely to face? Disaster preparedness is the capacity to respond effectively to disaster. Preparedness includes resource identification, training, awareness, insurance, and rehearsal. If you have an earthquake or hurricane kit at home, for example, then you are already partially prepared for these disasters. These kits often include supplies for survival (food, water), medical needs (first aid, medications, and sanitation), communication (radio, batteries, phone numbers), travel (maps, fuel), and security (flashlights, insurance and identification documents, cash). Some of those supplies are also useful in an academic career disaster kit. With luck, you wont need desalination gear or a flare gun, but you could well require an emergency fund, copies of insurance policies, and a bottle of aspirin. Probably the most useful element of a career disaster kit is contact information for colleagues (both within and beyond your current institution), payroll and benefits personnel, administration (union rep, chair, editors, dean, provost), and maybe students. Storing and maintaining this information inside your organizational networks facilitates assistance, should you need it, from campus colleagues, and duplicating that data store through some outside system permits easier access for assistance from someone outside the institution (such as a family member). Depending on the disaster, you might need one access point instead of the other. Disaster response is actions taken to minimize disaster damages and losses.
The report comes via one of my own favorite blogging sites: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/disaster-planningthe-academic-career/26927

Local chapter contact information can be found at redcross.org . “Having a plan outlining what household members will do in an emergency is the best thing they can do to be prepared for an emergency or large-scale disaster,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president of Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “Things can happen very quickly, giving people only minutes to react. Planning ahead can help keep everyone safe.” MAKE A PLAN Planning together is important. Everyone in the household should help develop the emergency plan and know what they should do if something occurs. The plan should include ways to contact and find one another. Include two places to meet one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service. “Often people are not at home when a disaster occurs and they may not be able to get back into their neighborhood,” Reed said. “Plans should include decisions about where everyone will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there.” When discussing evacuation, everyone should include several different routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, they should be considered, including where they could be safe if the family has to evacuate such as pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the evacuation route. RED CROSS APPS People can learn what to do before, during and after emergencies by downloading the free Red Cross apps for smart phones and tablets.
This information originates from one of my favorite blogging sites: http://news.yahoo.com/red-cross-urges-households-develop-emergency-plan-during-153800290.html

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