The first few hours following a disaster or major incident are crucial. Actions taken (or not taken) then can make or break the recovery. Get this right and the chances are you’ll be in control. Get it wrong and you could well find yourself on the back foot, reacting to circumstances rather than controlling them.
It is essential that valuable time isn’t lost in the early stages of your response and recovery. To achieve this requires everyone involved to know their roles and responsibilities. It means knowing who to contact, where to go, what to do and how and when to do it. And it means being able to lay your hands on the vital records required to support your actions, when you need them.
This means pre-planning and preparation. It means recovery plans that are easy to use and up to date. Just as importantly, it means training and awareness, and familiarity with those plans. And it means an ongoing programme of exercising and testing to ensure recovery strategies actually work and key players are up to speed.
We all hope we never have to invoke our recovery plans for real. But if you do, make sure you’re ready and able to seize the initiative.