Your Solution for SMART Response Plans

Disaster Recovery, Roles, and Responsibilities

Posted on Mon, Jun 10, 2013

The National Disaster Recovery Framework is a guide that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, Territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner with recovery partners. Although the framework is aimed at the public sector and governmental jurisdictions, companies should evaluate the recovery elements for site-specific applicability, and incorporate pertinent and beneficial aspects.

A business disruption that extends beyond normal operating procedures and exceeds maximum downtime allotment requires a disaster recovery plan. The ability to institute a successful plan requires stakeholders to maintain a clear understanding of post-disaster roles, responsibilities, and objectives.  Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are the foundation to identify opportunities, foster partnerships, and optimize required resources.

Recovery objectives should include the meticulous restoration, strengthening, and revitalization of the site, surrounding infrastructures, and operations. Disaster response operations should prioritize timely and accurate communication to facility managers, critical decision makers, emergency response teams, stakeholders, vendors and contractors, and, if applicable, the public, in order to accelerate recovery without duplicating efforts.

Pre-planning for recovery allows for a collaborative understanding of necessary recovery elements and critical business processes. Business continuity plans should include recovery planning and operational components, including, but not limited to:


  • Coordinate development, training, and exercise of jurisdiction disaster recovery plan.
  • Establish and maintain contacts and networks for disaster recovery resources and support systems.
  • Promulgate principles and practices that further resiliency and sustainability in development and strategic planning initiatives.


  • Assess damage
  • Verify facility accessibility and safety
  • Identify internal and external recovery team contacts and contractors
  • Identify the scope of repair work
  • Develop site-specific repair plans and schedules
  • Restore operations
  • Institute mitigation measures
  • Apply “lessons learned” and update plans
The Incident Commander shall initiate the business continuity plan and associated recovery efforts. In the event the incident causes major damage to company facilities, the Incident Commander should serve as primary point of contact for supporting team members during disaster recovery planning and operations. Once the recovery period begins and/or appears that it will extend beyond the recovery capabilities of the facility, the Incident Commander should be responsible for the following:
  • Initialize and coordinate the activities of local recovery organizations and initiatives
  • Work with the Federal, State, and Local agency coordinators to develop a unified and accessible communication strategy
  • Participate in damage and impact assessments with other recovery partners
  • Organize recovery-planning processes to fully engage stakeholders and identify recovery objectives, priorities, resources, capabilities, and recovery capacity
  • Ensure inclusiveness of the community in the recovery process through media and public relations efforts
  • Continually communicate recovery priorities to government liaisons, recovery stakeholders, employees, and the community
  • Incorporate critical mitigation, resilience, sustainability and accessibility building measures into the recovery plans and efforts
  • Lead the development of an actionable and feasible recovery plan based on available funding and capacity
  • Collaborate with government liaisons to identify external financial support for recovery, leverage the resources, and resolve potential duplication of assistance
  • Work closely with the recovery leadership at all levels to ensure a well-coordinated, timely, and well-executed recovery
  • Develop and implement recovery progress measures and communicate adjustments and improvements to applicable stakeholders and authorities

For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.

TRP Corp - Emergency Response Planning Crisis Management

Tags: Business Continuity, Crisis Management, Redundant Systems, Training and Exercises, Disaster Recovery, Business Disruption