CHAPTER 9Step 6: Determine Recovery Strategies

Disaster response occurs in three stages:

  1. Prevention
  2. Incident response
  3. Business continuation

To help better understand what each one involves, think of them the same way you would a medical response to a heart attack.

There is the prevention phase, which is when the doctor advises you to eat right and get exercise. The incident response phase is when a heart attack occurs and someone calls 911. The EMTs arrive and do their best to prevent further damage, transporting you to the hospital.

The business continuation phase corresponds to when you are released from inpatient care and begin outpatient therapy. The crisis is over, but there are still steps to take before you’re fully functioning and have returned to normal.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each one now and discuss how it relates to a business disaster response.


For every type of disaster, an organization can respond multiple ways. That being said, the first thing it should always do is ask: “How can we prevent the disaster from occurring?”

Just as a doctor will tell you that the best way to treat a disease is to prevent it, the most cost-effective way to respond to a disaster is to keep it from happening in the first place. Thus, the most effective disaster response process should begin long before disaster even strikes.

Inevitably, someone says, “But I can’t prevent a hurricane!” Although that is true, you can prevent the hurricane from turning your business ...

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