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What Constitutes a Standard?

To put it in lay terms, standards are the things you document in advance to ensure that your recovery plan executes gracefully. A simple example might be a call list for personnel. Your recovery plan will prescribe that under certain conditions you call employees back to work, using a specific list of telephone numbers. But what ensures that the list is up to date? Indeed, what ensures that the list exists at all? This is what’s documented in the standards. There are a number of different kinds of standards, such as the following:

  • Operating standards. Housekeeping, backups, and other day-to-day practices.
  • Security standards. Passwords, intrusion protection, and the like.
  • Standards geared solely to the recovery plan. Call lists, procedures for emergency purchase orders, where to get cash in an emergency, transportation, etc.

Think about the example at the beginning of this article. What kinds of issues in your building, seemingly under your nose, are waiting to hit you some rainy Sunday afternoon? Figure 1 lists some of the more common considerations. In the following sections, I’ll address examples of all three kinds of standards.

Figure 1

Figure 1 Identification of 12 possible risk points inside a building.

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