How to write a disaster recovery plan

Creating a disaster recovery plan is essential for preparedness. Disasters are a part of human life, and life must carry on in the wake of these unfortunate events. Creating an effective and usable plan will put you on the right path toward total preparedness.

Depending on the type of disaster plan you plan to create, you'll want the goal of your recovery to be re-establishing communication with family members and the outside world.

Identify key persons. These people will most likely include parents, grandparents, children, teachers, technology experts, communication experts and law enforcement.

Start small. The first few steps of any disaster plan should focus on majorly injured persons, getting medical attention and the general status of your location. The disaster plan hinges on focused, specific measures to prevent panic. Therefore, keep it simple in the beginning. Seek medical attention for those affected; transport any vulnerable persons out of damaged areas; gather everyone together in one place if you can.

Write more operational steps. Triage should be first, but afterward there must be a system in place to get things up and running again. Assign your key people to attempt to reestablish communication with others, if needed. Assign at least two people to act as ground communication--people who will gather information about the disaster from others in surrounding areas. Assign two people to try and secure medical supplies, food and clean water.

Ensure that one person will be in charge of keeping the group together, thinking positively and acting as a moral support leader. Disasters are emotionally and psychologically damaging events. Panic can ensue quickly, so one person must be in control of the group's state of mind.

Contact authorities. Bear in mind that after a disaster, emergency crews will be stretched thin, but it's important to get up-to-date information, find out where recovery zones may be located, and to learn appropriate evacuation plans. Only the authorities will have this type of information, so once you are immediately settled, find an authority figure as soon as possible.