olly - Fotolia

How do you build a disaster recovery communications plan?

Maintaining voice communications is vital to disaster recovery. Networking expert Carrie Higbie Goetz explains how to build a disaster recovery communications plan.

The best disaster recovery communications plans include a way to work through business needs after a disaster. In order to be effective, the plans must be updated and tested before a disaster. One important aspect in disaster recovery is getting voice communications back online. 

Normally, businesses will have an analog phone line if the power is out for communications disaster recovery. However, it may be more desirable for employees to switch to mobile phones until business phones are back online. 

At the very least, you should have an attendant greeting that refers outside callers to an alternate number if your phone system does not provide a failover number. Critical people within your organization should also change their individual voicemails until the systems are live.   

A disaster recovery communications plan should include a way to communicate with customers and maintain the most critical operations. Analog or cellphones may be the answer during the continuity period. As the disaster subsides, an uninterruptible power supply will keep your system up for some time, but it will not last long enough for the full system recovery in more extreme cases.

Whatever method you choose for your disaster recovery communications plan, be sure it is well-documented and well-known throughout the company. 

Some phone systems offer an online component, so you can use a softphone from anywhere. Your vendor can offer recommendations based on the capabilities of your system. If you are in the early evaluation process, be sure to include these questions in your request-for-proposal documents.   

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie Goetz or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! All questions are treated anonymously.

Dig Deeper on VoIP and IP telephony