Using 30-Minute Mock Disaster Exercises to Keep Your Team Sharp

Do you want to keep your recovery team personnel sharp, thinking on their feet, and the BCP process fresh in their minds?   We all want multiple half-day exercises each year to entrench our recovery teams in the process, but who gets that much time made available to them?

We have come up with a way to keep our teams engaged using 30-minute mock disaster exercises in addition to the annual half-day exercise.  So, what is the format for such an exercise?  Here is what we do:

  1. Present a short scenario outlying the event at hand and what is known (2 to 3 minutes)
  2. Request the Team to address the Crisis Management aspects dealing with the immediate tactical needs of the scenario (10 minutes)
  3. Request the Team to address the Crisis Leadership aspects dealing with the long-term issues associated with their decisions, business cycle, etc. (10 minutes)
  4. Follow up and action items (5 to 7 minutes)


Regular short exercises make the team focus on the task at hand and not lose sight at what needs to be accomplished.  Use a timer to keep them focused and document what they come up with for each component of the exercise.  Update your plans as needed.


Good Luck!


About MHA:  MHA Consulting, with its decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations. Every day, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business. For more information, contact Michael Herrera at Herrera at

Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.

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