Implementing a Recovery Plan in the Face of Disaster

The Disaster Preparedness Conference at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, raised some interesting concerns regarding business continuity plans in the face of disaster.

Some stats from the conference, according to a report posted on

  • Only 57% of Small- and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) reopen in the wake of a disaster.
  • Of those that reopen, only two-thirds are still open at the two-year mark following a disaster.
  • Of those SMB’s that suffer damage from a disaster, less than half recoup any losses incurred.
  • Only 25% of businesses that have tested their data backup tapes find that they work.
  • Close to half of SMBs do not backup their data at all.

What does that say about the state of SMBs in our society? Obviously, more preparation is necessary, and those that are somewhat prepared are not prepared to the point where a full recovery from a disaster is possible. Big corporations usually have the resources to make it through a disaster and still keep doing business as usual, but then again they have more employees and infrastructure to weather a crisis — a luxury few SMBs can afford. To combat this downfall, a good recovery plan needs to be devised and implemented.

The Benefits of a Good Recovery Plan

One of the main benefits of a good recovery plan: Money is saved due to a decrease in the losses suffered. The more eventualities that an SMB plans for, the less likely they are to suffer losses associated with those disasters. It does not mean that there will be no losses, but those losses can be significantly reduced with proper planning.

Another benefit of a good recovery plan is that employees have greater peace of mind with the assurance that situations can be handled and business can continue — with little to no loss of income. This, in turn, decreases overall worker stress, leading to better work performance.

In related news, a conference held on Tuesday, July 17, focused on the effects that even a low-level hurricane can have on a community. Held at the NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina, the conference focused on reviewing products available for the public to use to help themselves, as well as emergency responders, stay up to date on the latest possible tropical systems that could affect their area.

At the conference, attendees discussed how even a category-1 storm, like last year’s Hurricane Irene — which was downgraded from a category-3 before it struck the North Carolina coast — could cause damaging floods. Irene, even though a category-1, was so big that its storm surge was the same as a category-3.

For more information about the conference’s disaster coverage, visit: