Sometimes they’re small and inconsequential. Sometimes they’re big and completely devastating. Regardless of the size and severity, if you don’t have a plan in place, your business may be forever altered. We’re talking about disasters. They happen all the time, and may not be what you think.

Case in point: One of your team members accidently put something metal in the breakroom microwave. It caused a small fire and a lot of smoke; the sprinkler systems went off across your entire office, and the resulting water damage fried your computers and all other electronics. Your filing cabinets even got water in them and all your paperwork was ruined. You’re forced to move out of your office while everything is dismantled, the carpet replaced, and drywall, repaired.

And, this is just the start. Your server blew up and that’s when you realize your back-up system hadn’t been working properly. Your organization is at a complete standstill. Now what?

You pull out the disaster plan you so painstakingly prepared for an unexpected event, just like this one. What? You don’t have a plan already in place?  What if your organization supports people affected by disasters, yet you can’t help? Planning for the unknown may seem like a daunting task. However, if you break down the key elements of disaster recovery, it can make planning easier, and business continuity a success.

Here are the four key elements you’ll likely need in a disaster recovery scenario:

  1. Office space and everything in it (desks, chairs, filing cabinets, etc.)
  2. Power for your office
  3. Communications: Telephone and Internet access
  4. Computer systems: Computers, servers, printers, fax

Once you can look at each key element, it becomes easier to start planning. For example, is your organization work-at-home friendly? If so, in the above scenario your team members can just work from their homes, which alleviates items one through three from being focus areas, and makes item four of utmost importance. There’s such a heavy dependence on software these days, most organizations come to a near standstill just by losing their server. This is one of the main reasons so many organizations are moving to hosted or cloud-based software services.

Do you believe that a disaster could happen? Do you believe that without a plan in place, your business could be seriously affected? If you answered, “Yes,” then the time to take action is now. There are companies available to help with disaster planning, preparedness, business continuity, data storage, and recovering faster. Don’t wait until the moment when you’re most vulnerable to being overcharged and under-served.

NonProfit Technologies is Abila’s Business Partner of the Month for December 2015. Each month, Abila recognizes the top Business Partner based on its continued support in helping nonprofit organizations. Abila Business Partners are trusted experts authorized to resell and implement one or more Abila products.