All too often, companies either rely upon personal knowledge and skill to recover from emergency situations, or they write a multi-volume encyclopedia of recovery procedures. When disaster strikes, neither approach lends itself to rapid response.You simply cannot rely upon any particular individual to be available during an emergency. Neither can you expect your staff to read through pages and pages of process documentation while chaos reins. There is a better way: Think in terms of recovery phases and align your documentation and recovery efforts with them.

There are three recovery phases: resolve, respond and rebuild. Let's look at them in chronological order.

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