IT Disaster Recovery: Flooding Lessons Learned

Natural disasters can cause havoc for businesses with data centres in affected areas, and it is essential to have a data recovery plan in place to mitigate the risks.

Half of all companies operating data centre infrastructure admit that they are unprepared for natural disasters; in other words, extreme weather events have the potential to cause massive problems for their company’s operations.

We all know that computers and water don’t go together. So in lieu of the devastating impact of cyclone Debbie last month, it’s a harsh reminder for all businesses to review their policies and procedures. Follow these guidelines to safeguard your business against a disaster.

Critical Application Assessment and Disaster Recovery Plan

A comprehensive evaluation of potential disaster scenarios – included flooding, earthquakes and power cuts – should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Following the assessment, a plan should be developed to document the responsibilities, procedures and checklists that will be used to manage and control the situation following an emergency or crisis occurrence.

Implementation Procedure

As part of this disaster recovery plan, critical information systems have to be backed up in real-time offsite to avoid downtime and potential data loss.


The disaster recovery plan has to be tested regularly to ensure the business has the ability to continue any critical business processes in the event of a disaster. This will involve regularly examining parameters, reviewing management objectives and evaluating measurement criteria and methodology, while also validating timings to examine the overall effectiveness of the current disaster recovery plan.

Maintenance of the Plan

Disaster recovery plan maintenance is of utmost importance and needs to be kept in sync with business changes.

Recovery procedure

During a disaster, recovery activities will be conducted in a phased approach, emphasising critical applications effectively and efficiently.

Phase I:

Move operations to the disaster recovery backup site and the emergency operations centre.

Phase II:

To recover critical business functions, we restore critical applications and critical network connectivity in our Disaster Recovery Sites first. Recovering the system and network are crucial for your business continuity.

Phase III:

Return data processing activities to the primary facilities or an alternative location

Real World Application

Businesses are confronted with a broad range of disasters each and every day. Without sufficient processes in place, businesses risk not only losing revenue and critical data, but also severely damaging their customer relations.

Yet many organisations still take IT infrastructure for granted, relying on outdated disaster recovery plans. Today, data centres are often the beating heart of most companies. Without a disaster recovery plan, companies may not survive the next natural disaster. Let Cyclone Debbie be a warning to prepare your business now, before it’s too late.