Writing the Plan

Writing the plan is not always as difficult as it may seem. It should be as simple as telling a story and address the basic concepts of who, what, where, when, why, and how of a process. Although it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen and where, it is still possible to identify the basic steps necessary to take in an emergency. Throughout planning, remember to keep in mind that emergencies affect everyone differently. It is impossible to write a plan for every possible situation, instead, the plan(s) should be a set of guidelines to reduce chaos at the time of an incident and thereafter. The following is a list of plans that should be executed by different teams, based on the circumstances of the incident:

Administrative Plan – contains reference information common to all plans (i.e. vendor call lists, recovery strategy, risk assessment)

Technical Recovery Plans – many independent plans that contain the step-by-step actions to recover a specific process or IT system. Depending on your recovery strategy, they might assume that the process must be rebuilt from nothing and are often referred to when addressing local emergencies.

Work Area Recovery Plan – the details for relocating the critical company office workers to another site.

Pandemic Management Plan – actions the company will take to minimize the impact of a pandemic.

Writing the plan is simply documenting what should be done when a disaster strikes (before it strikes). The necessary steps for writing a BC/DR plan are laying the groundwork, developing departmental plans, and finally, combining those departmental plans into an overall corporate plan.


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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