Standards for Personnel Notification
Developing notification and response procedures for various types of disasters can be a complicated proposition. For example, if a major piece of equipment fails, presumably your IT team would be the principal respondents responsible for restoration of that equipment. However, if the entire building is gone, IT essentially takes a supporting role, directed by the executive management team (EMT) and coordinating with other teams. Your operating standards should specify this distinction and identify responsible personnel—by function, rather than by name, in case of employee turnover.
While this specification is a necessary part of the recovery plan, a separate standard is necessary to make such procedures part of your company policy and assign the persons responsible for keeping the plan up to date. Stated another way, if the plan says, "Grab the personnel list and call everyone back to work," it makes the automatic assumption that such a list exists, and that it’s accurate.
Your standards should consider that notification of an emergency might not come from anyone in your chain of command. More likely, notification will come from someone such as a security guard, facilities manager, or perhaps even the fire department. Carefully consider how your information flows during this early notification phase. For example, if a security guard is making rounds late at night and discovers a door kicked in and a critical server stolen, will he or she know to notify you directly? As you consider this issue, remember that most building security organizations keep some type of a log or call-out book. Even if these employees are outsourced, they’ll undoubtedly report (eventually) to someone upstream, internal to your company. Your written procedures should spell out who to call if something unusual happens after hours.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Identify the procedure and write yourself into it. Then, in your standards document, specify what you did. Be sure that you’re part of the building’s facilities and security personnel procedure, so that they know to call you at the first hint of trouble.