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The World NEXT ends 

This started as a comment on Mr. Presnell's excellent post about Home DR, but once it started getting beyond a few sentences, I decided to put it here.

After watching what happened to so many families after Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike (and that's just been over the last 5 years!), this is pretty near to my heart.

Business continuity (definitions)
Effective and useful survival. Business continuity is a biological and psychological imperative for individuals ("instinct of survival") and an economic and cultural imperative for communities, at least at local level (see also "social capital"). ....  It needs to be fostered by strong leadership, team building, clear mission statements, etc.
The ability of an organization to continue to function even after a disastrous event, accomplished through the deployment of redundant hardware and software, the use of fault tolerant systems, as well as a solid backup and recovery strategy.

If you've ever been involved in planning and testing*  DR/BC at work, please strongly consider taking those lessons and applying at home.

There's at least one key difference between how we're usually involved at work as members of IT and our responsibility to our families at home. At work, generally things are split it IT & Business User areas. IT is generally supposed to get the basic computer, phone, fax, etc. infrastructure set up and ready to go, while the business/accounting folks get the right people, procedures, polices, and paperwork in place to get all the actual end user process rolling. At home, we have to think, plan and be all/both sides of this equation. Yes, we actually have to think like users. Yech.

The first part of this is assessing what you have and what you need: do a home inventory, and additionally, do a video inventory and store those videos off-site. If you have insurance, you will need this to prove the value of what you had before the disaster, and beat the insurance companies over the head and to minimize the amount they will screw you. Having watched what the insurance companies have done with close family and friends in the last couple of years, they are NOT on your side. To make a home inventory

The next part is to take this inventory and decide what you need to have immediately available in case of disaster, and what can be gotten to 'eventually' - expand this to include all your "family" digital & dead-tree assets.
Immediate access planning should include things like Birth Certificates, Driver's Licenses, Social Security cards, Home/Life Insurance plans & contact info, Medical Insurance cards, and a some things that are not so obvious - like phone numbers and addresses of family and friends how can help you and your family if (when) you may need it. You might think having them in your phone is enough, but there are many situations where your phone can get lost/stolen/destroyed. You should look into scanning these items and keeping them on multiple USB keys, one for each of your family members, and at least one stored off-site or with relatives. This is especially important if you have unique medical needs for some of your family members.

Then look more broadly at items you don't want to loose, but don't need immediate access to. Examples are family pictures, etc. For those cases, get (or something like it) to backup all your data to the cloud.

The last thing is to keep it current. Do you home video tour every year, and especially after you make large purchases like 98" flatscreens, etc. It's a pain and a good bit of work, but it's worth it.

*Yes, Dorothy, people should (and some actually do) test and validate their BC/DR plans.

Comments (2)
Craig Wiseman January 9th, 2010 02:52:15 PM

1) Home ’business continuity’ - if you’re the IT geek of the family, step up and do it.
Dorothy Berto 1/11/2010 8:50:29 AM

Great points.

2) Home ’business continuity’ - if you’re the IT geek of the family, step up and do it.
Craig Wiseman http://www.Wiseman.La/cpw 1/11/2010 11:27:30 AM

Thanks, Dorothy. I hope you have an appropriate dress picked out for 02/07.

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