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The U.S. government is urging that organizations participate in the development of national public-private continuity and contingency planning efforts, as well as mobilization exercises to test plans. In many organizations disaster-recovery planning is improving. In a survey of 256 managers and planners that I conducted during the fourth quarter of 2002, four out of ten organizations reported that spending for disaster-recovery planning had increased since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The survey was conducted for a book entitled Guide to Disaster Recovery published by Course Technology in June 2003.
However, there are still many obstacles to achieving a high level of participation in such efforts. As noted in Chapter 2, 46 percent of the 100 name-brand organization surveyed for this book reported that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have not changed their IT management policies or practices at all. In addition, while 65 percent reported that DRPs are in place, 8 percent reported that there was not a DRP in place, and 24 percent reported that a DRP was in the development stages. Only 27 percent of the organizations reported that most or all employees have been trained on disaster-recovery procedures.
It is also important to note that rehearsing and testing disaster-recovery or contingency plans can be a very expensive process. During the survey of 256 managers and planners that I conducted during the fourth quarter of 2002, only two out of ten organizations reported that they rehearsed their entire DRP, while five out ten reported that they rehearsed or tested only parts of their DRP.
Each organization needs to address how it is approaching rehearsing and testing DRPs, if not for the sake of national initiatives, then at least to determine if DRPs have become outdated, personnel have changed, or buildings have been remodeled.
In addition, coordination with local authorities and emergency responderson disaster-recovery planning is advisable. They will be the first responders-during any disaster and, in many locations, have been receiving advanced training on responding to incidents, especially those that may be terrorist related.
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