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The K.I.S.S. Method to BRP

The first thing you need prior to development of a detailed Business Resumption plan is to obtain senior management commitment in verbal and financial forms. Without management sign-off, you will be wasting a lot of time documenting a plan that most probably will only...

Scale up or out?

Scale up or out?         At STORServer, we provide only the best of the best. One thing I’m regularly asked is when is Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) better than CommVault and vice versa? While each has its own advantages,...

Only the Best of the Best

STORServer takes it to a whole new level What happens when you combine the best hardware in the industry and the industry leading data protection software in the industry?  Simple, you get the best data protection solution in the world.    CommVault has...

Backup quarterbacks and disaster plans

In professional sports today, the coach always has a “plan B.” In the NFL, those are called backup quarterbacks. There is even a backup to the backup. In football, however, they know and understand that a player can get hurt on any play. They might not...

Support for virtualized environments is key

Virtualization technology has helped IT organizations of all sizes reduce costs by improving server utilization and reducing application provisioning times. However, this produces two new problems that most people do not account for when choosing a data protection...

Scalability–You grow, it grows!

When keeping pace with growing data, a major concern for IT organizations, in terms of both storage and data protection is how the data protection solution will handle the growth. If your business has grown its capacity by 40-60 percent in each of the past three...

Scalability–You grow, it grows!

When keeping pace with growing data, a major concern for IT organizations, in terms of both storage and data protection is how the data protection solution will handle the growth. If your business has grown its capacity by 40-60 percent in each of the past three...

Recovery: A Unified Approach

Do you have different products to protect different types of data or different systems? If so, you need to start thinking about standardizing on a single product.  Think of all the time, training and resources you would save. Unified recovery management (URM)...
License correctly and save money! What?

License correctly and save money! What?

Can two of the same things have two different prices? Heck yes! Not only can they have different prices, but they can also be dramatically different.  In the last few years, data protection solution providers have started to offer something besides...

Data Reduction, Not Just Data Deduplication!

It is not all about data deduplication! Many data protection products and providers talk about data deduplication as if it will save the world. In fact, data deduplication is only a small part of the solution. What we need to be talking about is across the board data...

What to know about private cloud!

Before considering cloud-based data protection, it is important to first understand the basics of cloud, which can sometimes be foggy (at best). With trade magazines and publications defining the “cloud” in a number of different ways, IT managers...

Let’s have some fun?

So you have planned.  You have a strategy.  You are ready. Are you really? Sure you have done planned testing.  But… people knew it was coming.   You probably made all the plans for your test weeks in advance.  You knew where you...

Trunk or Treat – a story of Resilience

In Schoharie, New York, where over 200 homes were damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011, the community is demonstrating resiliency today, Halloween, in the throes of Hurricane Sandy. With so many homes, streets, sidewalks, and other potential hazards due to flooding, the...

DR and Crisis Management

Recently, DR/BCP professionals have sent me inquiries about how to handle crisis management or crisis communication, especially during a DR event.  DR/BCP professionals may be highly involved in managing a data or system recovery and unable to devote attention to...

The GAP in DR/BCP/EM Technology

The GAP in DR/BCP/EM Technology Recently I attended a concert at my grandchildren’s school in a small, rural community in Upstate New York.  A small child in the row behind me was using what appeared to me to be a tablet computer. Amazed by the use of technology,...

Insurance for Independent Consultants

Since 2002, my S-Corporation carried “Errors and Omissions” or Professional Insurance coverage. As an independent BCP/DR consultant, are you adequately insured? In 2008, my insurance carrier expanded coverage (known as the Bell endorsement) to include...

California Fire Fee – It’s About Time

  California is assessing homeowners who live in vulnerable, fire-prone areas a fee to cover the cost of fire protection services, including very expensive suppression of wild fires.  It’s about time someone acted to place the cost of protecting vulnerable...

We Have The Options

The old saying “when one door closes, a window opens” proves to be true. As continuity planners, we all deal with fast decisions and tough choices. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we must move away from the old methods and not be afraid to try something new....

We Have The Options

The old saying “when one door closes, a window opens” proves to be true. As continuity planners, we all deal with fast decisions and tough choices. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we must move away from the old methods and not be afraid to try something new....
Novell

Novell

Virtualization and Workload Management Live Webcast Series Download the eBook Solve your workload problems once and for all with future-proof Virtualization and Workload Management solutions. Virtualization and Workload Management from Novell offers a simplified...
Novell

Novell

Notification Solutions by Product Live Webcast Series Download the eBook Solve your workload problems once and for all with future-proof Virtualization and Workload Management solutions. Virtualization and Workload Management from Novell offers a simplified disaster...

404: Error – Page Not Found

404 – Error: Page Not Found You may not be able to visit this page because of: an out-of-date bookmark/favourite a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site a mistyped address you have no access to this page The requested resource was not...

What and Who Do We Know?

How many times in our lives have we heard, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? The phrase usually comes to mind when searching for a new job. Recently, while attending the DRJ Fall World 2006 conference, I overheard someone make this statement in the hallway...

Lessons Learned

January 2004: Two students in Louisiana are arrested after planning to shoot students and teachers in an effort to copy the 1999 Columbine High School killing spree in Colorado. October 2003: A gun-wielding teen takes an administrator hostage in a Sacramento, Calif....

Ready for Section 404?

It is no surprise that public companies continue to struggle with the tasks of evaluating their internal controls and financial reporting systems, brought about by passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002. What may be surprising to some is the cost in terms of...

Weathering the Storm

Paxson Communications Corp. operates more than 60 television stations across the nation. The company’s lifeblood is advertising revenue from commercials that must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla. That adds up to...

Who’s the boss

It’s often said that, other than your spouse or significant other, you can’t pick your family members. We love our parents and grandparents, but in almost every family, there are people who, had we had the opportunity to select, they might not have been chosen. It’s...

The Real Threat

Information warfare (IW) is not new in the United States. The Department of Defense (DOD) has for approximately 30 years been preparing for and defending against our adversaries’ employment of IW. However, with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States,...

When the Smoke Cleared

Worst Wildfires in California History Prove Valuable Lesson for Continuity Planners By JANETTE BALLMAN Emergency responders and continuity planners had their hands full when nearly a dozen wildfires erupted in California during mid-October. Strong Santa Ana winds and...

New Kid on the Block

When reading on the topics of business continuity, disaster recovery, or business resiliency in the current literature, one cannot help but notice that a vast majority of writers possess many years of experience in the field. Practitioners with 15, 20, and even 25...

A Word to the Why

The Blackout of 2003 created major and costly inconveniences for an estimated 50 million people from Michigan, across Ohio and into New York and north into Ontario. Referred to by some media writers as the “Lake Erie Loop,” the interconnected power grid fell subject...

The Iceberg Theorem

Some years back, while in the defense industry, I met a fellow who mentioned that he once worked with a Hughes reliability engineer named Murphy, the very man responsible for “Murphy’s Law.” Reliability engineers are principally involved in analyzing why systems fail...

Targeting Preparedness

By now, IT executives all over the world know that having a plan in place for recovery from unexpected outages, either natural or man-made, is vital to the health of their business. The volume of information continues to increase as a result of e-commerce and other...

A Season of Fury

This May, a prime time for tornadoes in the Midwest, we saw an unprecedented amount of storm activity that struck at the heart of municipal infrastructure across the Plains states and into the South. More than 50 lives – and millions of dollars worth of property –...

Synchronicity or Not

In today’s data processing environment, synchronicity of data may need to be addressed when performing backups as well as the recovery of data. The subject of data synchronicity was not a big topic of discussion when data centers were composed of a single large...

How Far Is Far Enough

How far is enough? That was the question asked of Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) chapters in the United States. The intent of the survey question was to set standards from within the industry regarding how far an alternate facility and an off-site storage...

Not Just For HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) sounded a wakeup call throughout the healthcare industry – patient data is an asset and it needs to be protected. IT departments are now facing the challenge of implementing HIPAA’s three...

Missing A Step

For most people, the term “business continuity” conjures thoughts of complex plans, choreographed drills and heightened data security. Despite the increasing priority of continuity initiatives on corporate agendas and advances in business continuity technologies, the...

How Much Is Enough?

In an ideal world, IT managers would have unlimited budgets to ensure that employees, customers, and suppliers always had access to business systems and important information. Indeed, many organizations allocate significant portions of IT spending each year to build...

Recovering Data In A Snap

As data we regularly store on our PCs and servers is becoming more and more valuable, the ways to “lose” this information are increasing. A surge protector, UPS and regular backups can safeguard financial, medical, legal, or other critical documents to a point. It is...

All Hands On Deck

Most planners are beginning to accept and to promote “enterprise” planning rather than either specifically “business” or “support” (read IT) function-only plans. What is often not stressed is the need for what we term “all hands” planning. All hands includes everyone...

The Great Flood of 2001

Less then one week after the beginning of the 2001 Hurricane season we already had a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, her name was Allison. But it was just a tropical storm, no need for concern yet; after all we really didn’t need to worry until it became a...

12 Point Check-up

INTRODUCTION My formal training in the area of disaster recovery began in 1980 following a “near miss” in the computer center. A building under construction next door to the data center (which housed a very large central mainframe and disk system) let loose of about...

Applications

In the 1960s information systems arrived. An early tag word of this developing technology was the term ‘application.’ At the beginning of the 2000’s, it is a concept surrounded by seriously flawed habits of thought and action. Consider the following...

DR vs. BC: Dueling Recovery Plans

Many companies today have created an environment of hostility between disaster recovery planning (DRP) and business continuity planning (BCP). Companies are creating two independently operating groups tasked with planning for a disastrous event. Below is the...

Business Continuity Planning for the Rest of Us

BIG, it’s always BIG! Every contingency planning book you read assumes that your company is BIG. Let’s see now’.you should have a team conducting a Risk Analysis (RA), followed by a team conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA), followed by a team...

The Incident Preparedness Pyramid

Once upon a time, and not very long ago, disaster recovery was born. As a discipline yet in its infancy, its aims were noble and its efforts sharply focused.Its practitioners were few, but with limited resources they strove to achieve technical redundancy for...

Spring World 2005 Another Great Success

More than 1,100 attendees joined expert speakers and exhibitors for a total of 1,500 people at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla., for the Disaster Recovery Journal Spring World 2005 conference March 6-9.“We are very pleased once...

Preparing Like Europeans

Businesses are spending big on facilities and plans that will help them recover in the wake of disaster, but are they spending wisely? In today’s world of power crises, cyber hackers, terrorism, and increased climatic threats, businesses are responding with...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Getting Started

The majority of business continuity/disaster recovery articles written for trade journals are directed toward the technical audience. There is an abundance of information available on the steps necessary to implement a business impact analysis or build the disaster...

Regulatory Compliance

Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. It is the way in which the corporate boards and officers set the policies and handle the affairs of corporations. Initially, the focus of corporate governance was to protect...

Earthquakes Rattle Supply Chain

When we think of Niigata prefecture in Japan, we think of exceptionally delicious rice, or perhaps the exceptional sake produced from that delicious rice, but not critical business infrastructure. However, when a series of large earthquakes struck the Chuetsu area...

Top-5 Causes of Replication Failure

With all the miles I log driving the vast Texas highways, sooner or later I know the odds will catch up with me and my car will end up with a flat tire. It may be an inconvenience, but I don’t worry because I always have a spare that will adequately cover my needs...

Emotional Continuity Management

Taking Care of Human Emotions While Protecting Your Business’ Bottom Line Reasonable variations of human emotions are expected at the workplace. People have feelings. Emotions that accumulate, collect force, expand in volume and begin to spin are another matter...

Insurance Company Looks For Silver Lining

For most companies concerned with their ability to recover print-to-mail processes after a business interruption, three hurricanes in six weeks would be reason enough to question their recovery capabilities. However, for a Florida-based insurance company, the added...

Modeling Events To Affect a Recovery

How do you begin planning specific recovery strategies for a disaster event that hasn’t happened? Industry best practices and your own good sense suggest that you use the worst-case scenario to determine the necessary recovery strategy to be used. It follows that if...

What Every CIO Should Know About DR

A number of years ago when I became CIO of a large international company, my operations manager advised me that our disaster recovery hotsite contract was up for renewal and needed enhancement. We were a single IBM mainframe shop supporting a $7 billion business, and...

When You Least Expect It …

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article serves as a follow-up to articles published in the winter 2004 and summer 2004 editions featuring the trials and tribulations of a new BC professional. One never knows when disaster will strike. As every business continuity professional...

Addressing the Data Protection Challenges

Whether it is customer account information, financial records, operations data, or e-mail, the life blood of any business is corporate data. Data protection should not be an afterthought. Studies have shown that businesses that suffer catastrophic irrecoverable data...

BC Analysis Using Computer Simulation

Simulation modeling and analysis has long been a tool used to analyze complex systems and processes. Once known to have staple use in analyzing processes requiring fail-safe operation such as those found in military, aerospace, telecom and nuclear applications,...

Ounce of Prevention Equals Pound of Cure

It’s no secret network managers today must ensure the highest availability of their networks to meet overarching business challenges. This means network managers must ensure they have the tools necessary to aid them in not only managing the network but in also...

A Team Approach To Emergency Management

Whether your perspective is from the national strategic level or the municipal level, the view of homeland security and emergency management has changed for the foreseeable future. The primary responsibilities of any elected or appointed public servant – or leader of...

First on the Scene

Emergency responders called into action after Hurricane Katrina were put to the test as they handled thousands of emergencies in less than ideal conditions. Brandon Bond, team member with the Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-6 gives a first-hand account of his...

Competitive Diligence

Corporations can not meet today’s levels of productivity and expectations for corporate earnings if their systems, networks or critical suppliers have interruptions that affect productivity. Likewise, if customers do not choose to buy your products or services...

Tic-Tac-Tornado

This game of hit and miss took place in Columbia, Missouri around 2:15 a.m. on November 10, 1998. As I lay sleeping, I was awakened by the weather alarms nearby. My family and I heard very strong winds and then the power went out all over the area. Living in a mobile...

Facing Y2k plus One

Time is running out to fix the millennium bug. What will happen to your company if it is too late to fix every system, or you are not certain that everything will work properly in the new millennium? If you are responsible for business continuity, then you need a...

Personal Preparedness

It Can’t Happen HereThe morning solitude was deafening. There were no birds singing; no children playing; no traffic scrambling to make the morning commute; and most notably there were none of the wonderful smells associated with the preparation of a morning...

The Current World

Who hasn’t heard of extended power outages, flooding, hurricanes, tornado events; all part of the news? You have to be aware of the risk to business operations and systems. Right?Your mainframe group has a disaster recovery hotsite….your facility manager...

Prepare or Fail

“If you’re failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail” — Bobby Collins When it comes to Disaster Recovery (DR), pre-planning is of the utmost importance, especially if you are the one responsible for timely restoration of IT resources. Considering that...

Year 2000 File Aging

Many words have already been written about the so called millennium bug. Probably many more will also be written prior to January 1, 2000. So why am I adding to the number when surely we would all be better off rolling our collective sleeves up and getting down to...

Fear Management

It is a comfortable day in Washington D.C. The weather forecast predicts a cool overcast day. Temperatures are expected to range from a morning low of 62 to an afternoon high of 75. The winds are light (approximately 7 mph) out of the north. At 8:30 a.m., it is 70...

Millennium Mayhem

Over the past several years the world has become increasingly interlinked and inter-connected. More and more businesses are rarely out of touch with those who may need to reach us’to answer questions, to respond to emergencies, and reply to opportunities that...

Implementing an Enterprise-Wide Security Program

Abstract The process of identifying threats and the risks they pose within your organization is a cost-effective way to eliminate the risk, or reduce its impact and frequency. For these reasons, the importance of performing this type of critical analysis cannot be...

The Sky is Falling

Of all the disasters President Clinton has had to declare during his tenure, he has yet to address the one which could be the largest disaster of all. There should be no doubt that he and other leaders in government and industry should consider the Year 2000 crisis a...

Business as Unusual

For the Business Continuity Planner/Consultant, one of the more difficult aspects of the project is gaining the cooperation of critical process owners. The obstacles encountered vary with the organization and its culture, but have themes like this: “I’m too busy...
Predictive Recovery

Predictive Recovery

Predicting disaster response can never be an exact science. But by including extrapolation and correlation analysis, they can provide visibility into what can happen in a real event. Collecting the right data during a test makes it possible to extrapolate and makes...

Think Like A Coward

The business world has changed significantly and rapidly in the last decade. Regardless of the industry, more and more businesses are operating on a 24×7 global basis. Even tiny organizations with less than a dozen employees depend on several modern technologies...

How We Communicate

Have you ever thought about how you effectively communicate to others and express ideas or what methods of communication work best when others communicate with you? What works for one individual does not necessarily work for others. At Spring DRJ, one of our general...

Bailing Out the IRS

When it rains, it pours. At least that was the case in June 2006, when torrential rains flooded the Washington headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with an estimated 5.5 million gallons of water – a deluge that was an unwelcome companion to the...

Where’s the Beef?

For years, many of us in the BCP industry have used the same statistics to encourage (or scare) businesses, organizations, managers, and leaders that business continuity planning must be addressed. Where’s the beef? The question was posed in a 1984’s Wendy’s ad where...

Is Tape Dead?

Just recently, tape backup has received a lot of press in the technology community; much of it has not been so flattering. There have been stories of glitches, tapes, and data vanishing at some of the largest financial institutions, customer data that has been...
Staying Connected

Staying Connected

Emergency notification systems have risen in popularity over the past few years. These communication tools offer a faster, more efficient way to communicate in a variety of settings. Emergency notification systems have risen in popularity over the past few years....
Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics

I took a moment to ask how many had a personal preparedness plan and sufficient supplies for their home. I was a bit surprised when only a quarter of the audience raised their hand. I recently heard the term “plandemic” in reference to the many new plans...
Nothing Ever Happens

Nothing Ever Happens

My job is nothing. If I do my job well, nothing happens. I don’t want anybody to need anything I’ve worked on. In other words, I’m a business continuity planner and if I’ve done my job correctly, I’ve mitigated problem areas and made them non-issues. How boring. My...
No Rain, No Power

No Rain, No Power

The prolonged drought in Uganda has led to low water levels of Lake Victoria, which in turn has caused a fall in electricity supply. This has forced Umeme to resort to rationing of electricity supply. This rationing of power supply has affected manufacturers,...

Risk Analysis – An Overview

Risk Analysis–the foundation for a good Disaster Recovery plan! It is also a phase that means different things to different people. For some, it means an analysis of the hazards or exposures that a computer room is subject to and the impact of such hazards on...

Impact: How Great Would It Be?

What would be the impact to your business in the event of a disaster affecting computer processing capabilities? Considering today’s telecommunication requirements, how long could it realistically take to recover? Days? Weeks? or even longer? Possibly some critical...

Budgeting for Disaster Recovery

One area of great importance to disaster recovery planners that has received very little attention is the question of how much to spend on the disaster recovery planning (DRP) effort. Through application of a “worst case” risk analysis process corporate...

Scenario-Based Risk Analysis

Crucial to the effective management of response to accidental loss is the ability to recognize risk. Colloquially, we use the term risk to refer to the possibility of any loss, regardless of its size. For example, I might casually comment to a friend over dinner that...

Is Your Business Ready For Disaster?

California businesses have numerous disasters every day. With Earthquakes, Flooding, Hazardous Material Accidents, High Winds, Power Outages, and the occasional Structural Collapse due to metal fatigue. Who knows when such an incident will happen in YOUR VICINITY?...

Quantitative Risk Assessment

The enlightened businessman prepares plans to deal with emergencies. He knows that being ready to deal with disasters–both natural and human-made–can make the critical difference to the bottom line should disaster strike. Detailed emergency planning is...

Risk Analysis Techniques

The risk analysis process provides the foundation for the entire recovery planning effortThere may be some terminology and definition differences related to risk analysis, risk assessment and business impact analysis. Although several definitions are possible and can...

How to Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

You have just been selected as a member of a team chartered with conducting an enterprise-wide Business Impact Analysis (or BIA, as it is more commonly called), as the first step in developing a new business contingency plan. What does this assignment mean to your...

Some Techniques for Business Impact Analysis

This article describes methodology and techniques for performing a comprehensive business impact analysis (BIA). This version of a BIA provides the foundation for the entire business continuity planning effort. Based on the various considerations addressed during the...

What are the Chances?

No one knows when and where the next disaster will strike. Catastrophes are, by their very nature, unpredictable. The best we can do is assign some estimate of long-run relative frequency, or probability, to the occurrence of these untoward events. A knowledge of the...

Auditing Business Recovery Plans

Will your Business Recovery Plan stand up to a thorough, well structured audit? Most corporations have a Corporate Audit Department which is charged with also auditing these plans. But most such audits tend to consist of a request to see the hard copy of the...

Disaster Recovery

This article is intended to depict the various stages of 'Disaster Recovery' activity that I felt necessary for us, at AMD, to follow. I will also cover some of the misconceptions, false senses of security, vulnerabilities, etc., involved with this subject.We...

Whatever Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong

Except in the case of hurricanes, disasters are usually a complete surprise. Most of us have auto insurance, wear seat belts and (always) drive defensively, but we don't really believe we're going to have an accident. The same mind set exists in most of us...

The First 24 Hours Post-Disaster

Despite all reasonable precautions, a disaster has occurred. It could be a flood, lightning strike, fire or act of sabotage such as orange juice in the computer. The actions you and your insured take in the following 24 hours are critical in preventing irreparable...

Saving the Books

The same disaster can, and does, strike a business office, a museum, an architect's office from time to time. The lowest level collects the water and suddenly comes the realization that you have 50 or 100 file cabinets loaded with important records and legal...

Do Not Forget Industry Specific Needs

The past few years have seen many companies addressing disaster recovery and contingency planning. The recent rash of natural disasters and the bombing of the World Trade Center highlighted the need for such planning, and has gotten the attention of CEOs and corporate...

The Impact of Recent Disaster

In recent months, the world has witnessed a flurry of powerful disasters. Articles in this issue examine these disasters, but together they are changing the disaster recovery industry. They have focused the general public and the business world on disaster recovery...

Recovering from the Memphis Tornado

When a powerful tornado touched down last November in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis, it struck a deadly blow, killing three area residents. In terms of property loss, the twister damaged a total of 400 homes and destroyed 22 throughout Memphis, ultimately causing an...

We Cannot Afford Not To

Law enforcement must train for disaster response, or the bills may not be paid!There are two questions you must ask of yourself and your agency. One, is your agency aware of a new mandate for emergency management that requires a standardized management system be used...

Corrosion Control

Corrosion can be a major factor in a loss situation and if not controlled, it can result in a substantial increase in the dollar amount of the loss. Corrosion can be controlled if certain actions are taken immediately after the loss and specialist companies are called...

Small Leak Teaches BIG LESSON

At 12:52 a.m., a flood alarm was triggered on the third floor of the Minneapolis Fed as water poured from the ceiling and onto the bank’s mainframe computer. Within seconds of the third-floor downpour, four employees began covering the mainframe computer and...

Getting Your Ground Down to Earth

There it was…the “perfect” pay station location, at a gas station on the corner of a busy intersection, but off on the corner of the property so people could drive up to it and make their calls. It was so accessible and visible it should have...

Rain Drops Kept Falling on Our Heads

During the last two weeks of January 1997, the Columbus Operations Center for The Huntington National Bank operated under emergency conditions due to a shattered roof membrane and uncooperative weather. Critical work groups including Wire Transfer, ACH, Incoming and...

When Will Disaster Strike?

With what seems to be an ever increasing number of tragic events taking place each and every day, it is no longer a question of “What if a disaster strikes?,” but rather one of “When?” And it is through the common occurrence of such emergencies...

Proactive Crisis Communications

Most companies, even though they have a comprehensive crisis preparedness plan, do not take a proactive stance. As a result, the first time they implement any part of their plan is during a disaster. But a good crisis communications plan is not a...

Media Relations in a Disaster

What could be worse than experiencing a disaster that destroys your business? The answer is recovering successfully from that disaster only to have your customers and competitors have the perception that you are out of business!This is not as ludicrous as it may...

Communicating in Crisis: Are You Ready?

The crisis you never expected suddenly strikes. Five hungry reporters are outside your door, demanding answers. Another dozen have phoned in the past 15 minutes wanting to know what happened and why? How will your organization react, and who will do what?That, in a...

We Were Spared! Hurricane Bob

Hurricane Bob sent us threatening signals, but Mother Nature spared the Virginia and North Carolina coast from major damage.As veterans of “hurricane havoc” as recently as two years ago with the onslaught of Hurricane Hugo, everyone initiated prudent...

Nations Costliest Disaster

By almost any traditional measure, Hurricane Andrew was the worst natural disasters in disaster recovery history. In addition to the staggering human cost, the valuation of destroyed property was the largest in United States history. At the time of this special...

Hurricane Preparation for Businesses

10 STEPS THAT BUSINESSES SHOULD TAKE BEFORE THE WIND BLOWS"I know but…I never thought that my business would be impacted by a hurricane.”Unfortunately, this statement made by a business owner impacted by Hurricane Andrew in 1993, is indicative of the...

MIS Damages From Hurricane Unfolding

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Shattering the lives and homes of residents of the Carolinas, Hurricane Hugo also blasted data centers with floods, wind and the cessation of the blood of computers – electric power. Although some larger enterprises had emergency power...

Buildings Protected By Clear Mylar Film

Important factors to consider when developing a disaster plan for violent weather are high winds and most of all the wind born debris. Most window systems are rated by wind speed alone, but this does not address the affects of wind born debris.Until recently there...

Hurricane Damage in Virgin Islands

Hurricane forecasters had predicted fewer storms during1996, but it was deja vu for businesses and residents on St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, as Hurricane Bertha roared through the Caribbean in July. The storm was a reminder of the devastation caused less than a...

Wax Attacks

There are many common predators that can ravage your hard drive and endanger the crucial data it contains: power surges, head crashes, hardware malfunctions, candle wax. Wait a minute. . . candle wax?Yes, candle wax.The destructive powers of candle wax were witnessed...

The Value of Planning

On October 17 I happened to be on a business trip in Florida for my California-based company. After a hectic day, I sat down to relax and watch Game Three of the World Series when the earthquake struck. Although I was obviously unable to assist during the disaster, my...

Auditors Can Help Sell Your Plan

Recently, I was involved in helping my company, the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas, to develop a disaster recovery plan. The BPU is owned by the city and is Kansas’ largest utility district. It serves approximately 75,000 electric and 57,000...

Contingency Planning Strategy

A bank’s contingency planning effort has one main goal: to get back to “business as usual” as quickly as possible, ideally within two days after a disaster. Quick recovery of processing capability may now be more difficult and take longer than when...

The Contingency Planner

The Contingency Planner, a title that varies throughout the business world (Disaster Recovery Coordinator, Contingency Coordinator, etc.), is one of the newest positions in both the Corporate and IS organizational structures. Emergency Planners have been around for a...

Is Your Recovery Plan Done?

The Plan is done. All significant functional areas have been addressed and each team has a complete plan of their own, fully documented. Ah h h h…now you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong! You have only just begun, as the song says. Your business recovery...

Business Contingency Planning Is…

Business Contingency Planning continually confronts the unlikelihood of a disaster. An interruption could be something related to a winter storm, the loss of electricity to the general area, or the complete and inaccessibility of a facility for an extended period of...

Justifying the Contingency Plan

Disaster recovery planning can be expensive. For the most basic data center recovery plan, monies must be allocated for personnel (full or part time), alternate sites, network recovery and offsite storage. Further increasing the cost of recovery is the fact that the...

The Kiss of Death

This article is dedicated to all those unappreciated contingency planners in the corporate world! It seems to me that no matter how many disasters occur, there are always skeptical managers that will continue to risk it all by not having or supporting business...

How Prepared Are You?

In May of 1990 the New York Contingency Planners Exchange Group distributed a survey on data systems security and contingency planning to several organizations at their quarterly meeting. The following are the results of the 21 organizations who participated.1....

Creating Usable Disaster Recovery Documentation

Is your VCR programmed properly? Not sure? Maybe you couldn’t understand the directions in the manual. VCR programming directions, camera manuals, tricycle assembly sheets — all are standing jokes in the technical writing community. One can reread these directions...

Organizing a Contingency Plan For Success

Developing a Contingency/Disaster Recovery Plan requires developing questionnaires and conducting interviews with virtually all departments in the organization to gather information. The result of this effort is stacks and stacks of information. One of the main...

Recovery In the Real World

The disaster recovery planning field is maturing. The basics of prevention and recovery are well treated in the workaday literature and are understood and implemented by risk-averse companies. Industry standards are in place that define such things as recovery-site...

Tough Problem, Simple Solution

I am a disaster planner, who, like most all other disaster planners, has a tough time getting management committed to performing the tasks necessary to adequately address disaster planning within my organization.Why is it, that all these managers who attend my...

Business Recovery Lesson Plan

Too often it has been my experience when requesting a consultant/trainer's lesson plans for disaster recovery, I have received little more than an agenda and hardcopy of the overhead transparencies. I don't know if this is a sign of insecurity or lack of...

Manage the Recovery Planning Project Part 1 & 2

Great Expectations  All too often, Recovery Planning projects begin with great expectations but end in disillusionment. Cost overruns, missed deadlines, staffing problems, and a plan that is outdated even before the ink is dry, are just a few of the pitfalls that can...

Terrorism Coverage Elsewhere

Northern IrelandTerrorism coverage has been excluded in Northern Ireland for a number of years. In 1977, the British Insurance Association announced a standard form of exclusion relating to terrorism losses in Northern Ireland. This led the Irish government to...

Terrorism Coverage Elsewhere

Northern IrelandTerrorism coverage has been excluded in Northern Ireland for a number of years. In 1977, the British Insurance Association announced a standard form of exclusion relating to terrorism losses in Northern Ireland. This led the Irish government to...

Terrorism Coverage in the United Kingdom

Bombs blast through buildings, leaving destruction and rubble in their wake. Booby traps, planted with evil intent, rocks through cars, killing their intended targets and damaging surrounding structures.Mortar rockets, screaming through the air, strike buildings,...

Terrorism Coverage in the United Kingdom

Bombs blast through buildings, leaving destruction and rubble in their wake. Booby traps, planted with evil intent, rocks through cars, killing their intended targets and damaging surrounding structures.Mortar rockets, screaming through the air, strike buildings,...

Oklahoma City Bombing

On Wednesday April 19, BMS CAT dispatched their advance command team to Oklahoma City. A BMS CAT Operations Manager and Team Leader assessed damage to four of the major buildings peripheral to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building, and met with government officials at...

Oklahoma City Bombing

On Wednesday April 19, BMS CAT dispatched their advance command team to Oklahoma City. A BMS CAT Operations Manager and Team Leader assessed damage to four of the major buildings peripheral to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building, and met with government officials at...

Special Report: Oklahoma City

Wednesday April 19, 1995 started like any other day for the residents of Oklahoma City. People were just beginning their daily routine when suddenly, the unimaginable happened. At 9:04 a.m. CT a bomb was detonated in front of the nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal...

Special Report: Oklahoma City

Wednesday April 19, 1995 started like any other day for the residents of Oklahoma City. People were just beginning their daily routine when suddenly, the unimaginable happened. At 9:04 a.m. CT a bomb was detonated in front of the nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal...

The New Face of Terrorism

When United States’ companies first decided to develop contingency plans for extended unplanned outages in the mid 1970s, the compelling reasons were natural disasters and the resulting power outages that usually accompanied them. The basis of their concern and...

The New Face of Terrorism

When United States’ companies first decided to develop contingency plans for extended unplanned outages in the mid 1970s, the compelling reasons were natural disasters and the resulting power outages that usually accompanied them. The basis of their concern and...

Waging the War on Terrorism

Ostensibly, the crisis in the Gulf was terminated with the unconditional cease-fire of Iraq in late February. While the American-led Coalition did achieve its goal when Iraq succumbed to all of the terms set out by the U.N., a new, and perhaps more subversive threat...

Waging the War on Terrorism

Ostensibly, the crisis in the Gulf was terminated with the unconditional cease-fire of Iraq in late February. While the American-led Coalition did achieve its goal when Iraq succumbed to all of the terms set out by the U.N., a new, and perhaps more subversive threat...

Disasters Can Happen To Anyone

Comdisco Disaster Recovery Services (CDRS) has always been proud of its industry leadership position. In that role, we continually strive to raise corporate awareness of the potential for catastrophic events to occur.We have learned that these situations, usually...

River Pours Through the Levee

On the morning of July 30, 1993, at approximately 7:00 a.m., employees of the Chesterfield Bank were getting ready to go into work as usual. Little did they know this wasn’t going to be a typical Friday at the bank. Bank officials had already been contacted by...

Crisis Management: Planning Pays Off

The underground flooding that paralyzed the Chicago downtown business district in mid-April was little more than a drop in the bucket for organizations with tested business resumption plans in place.While many companies were unprepared for such a disaster, quite a few...

The Drying of Chicago

The now “infamous” tunnel system found under the heart of Chicago’s business center—the Loop—was first planned in 1899 as a four foot bore to carry telephone cables and protect them from interruptions in service caused by downed telephone...

The Worst Disaster in Recent History

Trends may start on the east and west coasts (i.e. Hurricane Hugo and the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989) in our country, but when it comes to doing it bigger and better, don't count out the midwest. On Monday, April 13, 1992 began what has become the biggest...

Chicago Businesses Forced to Declare a Disaster

At 5:57 a.m. on Monday, April 13, 1992 a building engineer at the Chicago Merchandise Mart found water flooding the third sub-basement of the building. Little did he, or numerous Chicago Fire Department and City workers on-site by 6:10 a.m. know, that a hole the size...

Reacting to the Flood

In 1899 the city of Chicago started work on a series of interconnecting tunnels located approximately forty feet beneath street level. This series of tunnels ran below the Chicago River and underneath the Chicago business district, simply known as The Loop. The...

We Knew What We Needed To Do….

Disaster Recovery has become an essential part of our business. The ability to recover our mechanized systems and computing environments is vital to our customers and share holders.Rehearsing disaster recovery plans in advance really paid off during a recent disaster...

Flooding Leads to Large-Scale Power Outage

The flood began at 5:57 a.m. on Monday, April 13. At that time, an engineer at the Merchandise Mart called the Chicago Fire Department to report that water was inexplicably pouring into a subbasement of the building at 222 Merchandise Plaza. At 8 a.m., a whirlpool was...

Houston Flooding Challenges City Disaster Team

When, on Monday, October 17, the first drops of rain fell on the city of Houston, little did its citizens suspect they were in for a five-day-long siege of nonstop downpours, the likes of which they had not experienced in years. A storm that dumped a record total of...

The California Floods

California was devastated by the worst seven days of rain and flooding to hit the region in almost a century. Rains and strong winds whipped most of the state from March 12 to March 19 causing damages estimated at $2 billion. This exceeded the first deluge of rains...

The River Came Too Close To Monsanto

This summer we didn’t have to wait for weekends to go “down by the riverside” — the Mississippi came to us !!!Early in July, Monsanto’s Carondelet Plant received the warning of potential flooding from the River Des Peres. On July 9 the...

When It Rains, It Pours

1993 is only half over and already two major disasters have hit the United States. It's unusual that The Disaster Recovery Journal would run two Special Reports in the same year. In our second quarter issue (Volume 6, Number 2) we covered the World Trade Center...

DISASTER 101: A Hands-On Recovery Lesson

Thanks to a commitment to safety and preparedness, and a lot of luck, American Republic Insurance came through the recent Midwest flood ordeal much wiser and better prepared to face a future catastrophe.Disaster survival is the hard way to test your contingency and...

97 Midwest Floods

On April 7 rushing flood waters forced the evacuation of most of a Minnesota city for the first time in 1997. Residents of Ada, MN, fled after two normally shallow rivers overran their banks and poured into homes. Approximately 1250 people were evacuated or left Ada...

Red River Rising

The City of Winnipeg, capital of Manitoba, with a population of about 650,000, is at the geographical centre of North America. Located about 829 miles north of Kansas City, Winnipeg is at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers.The Red River Valley has a long...

This is Not a Test

River Oaks Bank Fire Forces Implementation of Untested Disaster Recvovery PlanThursday, June 6, 1991, was a normal banking day at the River Oaks Bank in Houston, Texas, until 7:30 that evening when fire alarms sounded.The shrieking alarms forced employees from the...

Planning Speeds Banks Recovery From Fire

As fire ripped through the heart of Bank of the Sierra early Oct. 2, bank officials enacted a disaster plan to keep the five-branch independent up and running. The 1 a.m. blaze gutted the bank’s corporate offices, destroying its mainframe computer and central...

The First Interstate Bank Fire

At 10:30 p.m. the night of May 4, 1988, Los Angeles’ worst high-rise fire swept through the 62 story downtown headquarters of First Interstate Bank destroying floors 12 through 16. In addition to this severe damage that destroyed five floors, smoke and water...

Testing Pays Off For Penn Mutual

The basic premise of disaster recovery is that a tested plan is the only way to recover. Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company recovered from the fire because, one, they had tested their plan many times prior to the fire, and two, they executed their disaster recovery...

When The Smoke Clears

February 1, 1988, a relatively quiet Monday morning, marked the beginning of the second semester of classes at Ferguson Middle School. Overcast skies and cool temperatures surrounded the three campus buildings known as the West Building, East Building, and the Annex....

Between East and West

Fire. It can happen anywhere at anytime, but when it breaks out in a 275-year-old library, there is a special sense of urgency. That feeling was dramatically heightened when fire broke out in the USSR Academy of Sciences Library in Leningrad in February of 1988. The...

The History of the Automatic Sprinkler

The forerunner of the automatic sprinkler first appears in the United States when New England mill owners develop crude, perforated pipe systems to protect their facilities. Although the pipes increase fire protection, they distribute water everywhere (not just on the...

Choosing the Right Automatic Sprinkler

Automatic sprinklers are a building’s first line of defense against fire. A sprinkler system not only detects a fire, it also automatically transmits an alarm to the local fire department or central station. In the few minutes it takes for the fire department to...

A look at the Oakland Fire

California’s biggest fire in 85 years came when most citizens and some fire officials figured the fire season was over for the year.On Oct. 20, 1991, the urban section of East Bay Hills of Oakland, Calif., just across the bay from San Francisco, was engulfed in...

Fire Can’t Foil Atlanta’s Fox Theatre

TEC Recovery Experts Learn Why 'There's No Business Like Show Business!'Atlanta's Fox Theatre, dubbed 'The Fabulous Fox' by the city's fanatic patrons, has been described by reviewers as a 'beautifully outlandish, opulent and grandiose...

The Use of ICS in Calabas-Malibu Fire

The Calabasas – Malibu Fire was a testimonial for the use of the Incident Command System (ICS). On Monday, October 21, 1996, a 'red flag watch' was declared due to the dry Santa Ana winds in Southern California. This alert called for the Los Angeles...

Avoid Information Disasters

Company executives are charged with the efficient and cogent management of their company’s resources. However, they often overlook the most important element of business – the creation of information – even though they expect that information to be...

Small Business -Big Risk

As corporate America continues down-sizing, the proliferation of small and mid-size firms increases proportionately. If corporations remain the primary target of contingency planning professionals, whole segments of the evolving business world could be left vulnerable...

Earthquake Preparedness Planning

Minor earthquakes occur frequently in the New Madrid Zone, and it is only a matter of time before a damaging earthquake occurs. Interest and awareness has increased in St. Louis and the Southeastern Missouri area since Iben Browning announced the possible occurrence...

Earthquake Devastates Philippines

On July 16, 1990 at 4:26 p.m. local time, a severe earthquake registering 7.7 on the Richter scale struck the northern Philippines. The earthquake caused damage over a region of about 7700 square miles, extending northwest from Manila through the densely populated...

Velcro Given High Marks in San Francisco

Last January, DRJ published a product profile on VELCRO (R)’s new specialty fastener, tagged Quake/Grip TM, which was rapidly becoming visible in corporate and government offices. Developed in prototype by Pacific Bell, Quake/Grip is a high-strength, flexible...

Schwabs Success Story

SAN FRANCISCO—Still basking in the success of his firm’s complete recovery from the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, Jeffery Lyons, Disaster Recovery Planner for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., recently agreed to an interview with DISASTER RECOVERY JOURNAL....

Preparing For Earthquakes

Earthquakes. We have been hearing a lot about them recently and we will undoubtedly hear more. Geologists warn that we are in a period of increased seismic activity and that significant earthquakes are likely to occur throughout the United States before the turn of...

The San Francisco Earthquake

At 7:00 P.M. October 18, 1989, I sat down to watch the World Series, as many others did, when suddenly the channel went off the air. Soon thereafter came a message stating that San Francisco just had an earthquake. As time went on, they announced that the quake...

Special Report: The Kobe Quake

At 5:46 am on January 17, 1995, western Japan was rocked by the most destructive earthquake to hit the region. The devastation was the worst in the port city of Kobe, where the 7.2 magnitude quake toppled roadways, wrecked docks, severed communication lines and kept...

Measuring an Earthquake

The “size” of earthquakes is commonly expressed in two ways – magnitude and intensity. Magnitude is a measure of the total energy released during an earthquake. It is determined from a seismogram, which plots the ground motion produced by seismic...

About Earthquakes

There are two kinds of hazards during an earthquake – natural and man-made. In the Midwest, natural hazards include ground- shaking; cracks and uplifts; liquefaction, which is a process of firm soil becoming a viscous semi-liquid that resembles quicksand or...

The Great Hanshin Earthquake

Much like the year prior, a major earthquake has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people and impacted literally hundreds of businesses within a heavily populated area. Unlike Northridge, the great Hanshin earthquake represents a disaster that has caused major...

Special Report: The Quake of 1994

Monday, January 17, I woke to find that a major earthquake jolted southern California. While watching television, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC, the announcers explained. "At 4:31 A.M. PST January 17, 1994, the San Fernando Valley was hit by a huge earthquake."...

A Profile of Velcros New Fastener

We received a letter from a subscriber, wanting information on Velcro fasteners. The following is what we found, and might be of interest to most of you. When asked, we will attempt to locate information on products for you.Machine and equipment fasteners can be an...

Earthquake Protection for Data Systems

Evidence from U.S and foreign earthquakes clearly shows that data processing facilities and systems are exposed to many types of damage. This includes the loss of power, cooling, and other services, overturning of equipment, failure of raised floors, spillage of...

DR/BC Planning and Employee Awareness

Once upon a time in the very distant past, disaster recovery planning was not something that you worried about. That is, if you thought about it, or even heard the terminology. Things were basically taken for granted, (that) someone was looking after...

Training Your BC Teams

The need for training business continuity teams is well recognized by the business continuity industry. Certification courses, seminars, professional practice standards, and other authoritative bodies explicitly state requirements for training business continuity...

Putting the Plan in Motion: A Checklist

Your organization’s contingency plan documents have been assembled and distributed. The important parts of the business have been identified and contracts established for alternate sites or services. Now, if some natural or man caused event interrupts business, how do...

The Test That Wasn’t a Test

In the evening of Wednesday, January 15, 1992, Bluebonnet Savings Bank (BSB) in Dallas, Texas, got to demonstrate first-hand a key DR maxim: a “disaster” should not be thought of only as an external event that strikes computer operations. Rather, a disaster is...

Testing Disaster Recovery Plans

With the relatively recent onslaught of such natural disasters as Hurricane Hugo and the Loma Prieta earthquake, many businesses are realizing just how crucial it is to develop and update their disaster recovery plans. While this is a good first step, it is by no...

Test the Pulse of Your Disaster Plan

The destruction caused by natural disasters across the country such as earthquakes in California, hurricanes on the Texas coast and tornadoes in the Midwest have made disaster recovery planning a major topic of discussion within many companies.Dependency on...

And Change the Oil Every …

Are you comfortable with the idea of purchasing a new car, and never changing the oil or washing the exterior? Amazingly, this is precisely the attitude taken by management in many companies who have formulated Disaster Recovery Plans. The maintenance of Disaster...

Testing Your Plan

You’re sitting at your desk reviewing a copy of your Disaster Recovery Plan when the phone rings, “Hey Joe, did you test your plan with a mock disaster yet?” You shrug your shoulders a little and answer, “Not yet Frank, my people have been pulled off the disaster...

Murphy’s Day at DR Drill

A compilation of actual events from many tests, drills, exercises and real life disasters make up this scenario. There are countless other possible problems not included here. A review of most Disaster Recovery Plans may reveal the possibility, or even probability,...

Test Last? Maybe Not

Much has been written over the past 10 years or so by many knowledgeable authors about how to develop a plan, and their thesis has generally been to gather the appropriate people together; garner their support; conduct a full business impact analysis including risk...

Staging Your DR Plan

One way to implement a Disaster Recovery Plan would include two stages toward completion. With a commitment to completing these stages, your operation will be protected from the definite consequences of any disaster that may occur.STAGE I Step One should consist of...

Full Scale Business DR Testing

Business recovery planners agree: plan testing is essential to the planning process. Unfortunately, many companies limit business recovery plan (BRP) testing to their mainframe, LAN, and telecommunications systems. At CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin, we...

Real-Time Electronic Vaulting

Despite a fully functional alternate data center standing ready half a continent away from its Chicago Operations Center, despite regular backup transmissions at hourly intervals throughout the day, and despite a full disaster recovery scenario prepared and ready to...

An Ounce of Prevention…

Law Firm Implements Multiple Security Layers To Protect Enterprise-Wide Distributed NetworkBacking up data on a distributed, enterprise-wide network presents a number of challenges which must be surmounted in order to provide end-users with a secure work...

A Data Survival Guide

A customer wrote me last week to thank me. He had experienced a loss of data that jeopardized the future of his company. Valuable engineering designs stored on his computer hard drive had become corrupted, and his tape backup system (which had been used faithfully but...

Are Your PCs Protected?

PC PROLIFERATION IN THE WORKPLACE BRINGS NEW PROBLEMS: PROTECTION OF LARGE AMOUNTS OF CORPORATE DATAToday’s “personal” computers in the workplace have little in common with the limited use of PCs just eight years ago. In most cases, corporate...