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Version 1.1: July 2010


The purpose of this toolkit is to provide resources for business continuity and disaster recovery planning, including guides, templates, examples and tips. The information provided herein is intended to be of value in the development, testing, enactment and revising of business continuity efforts. This Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery toolkit is an ongoing work in progress. As new resources are developed and best practices shift, updated information will be provided here.


Universities are vulnerable to a variety of types of natural and man-made emergencies and disasters. Recognizing that not all disasters can be prevented, proper planning is essential to ensure orderly business functioning when possible and to timely recovery in the event of emergency outages. Planning includes the identification of institutional vulnerabilities, priorities, dependencies, and measures to be taken to facilitate continuity and recovery before, during, and after a crisis. This Business Continuity Planning Toolkit presents guidance for institutions considering or embarking on the development of a plan, including commitments, procedures, technologies, resources, methodologies, and communications essential to plan development, support, and deployment.

Terminology and Definitions

All Hazards - an integrated planning approach to all domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

Business Continuity (also referred to as Continuity of Operations Planning and Service Continuation Planning) - process for determining an institution's ability to maintain or restore its business and academic services when some circumstance disrupts normal operations.

Business Impact Analysis - A management level analysis, which identifies the impacts of losing resources. This analysis measures the effect of resource loss and escalating losses over time, in order to provide senior management with reliable data upon which to base decisions on risk mitigation and continuity planning.

Disaster Recovery - A plan for the recovery of information technology resources in the event of a disaster or emergency that generally contains details to ensure systems and communications are restored within a predetermined timeframe. The disaster recovery plan is a critical component of the business continuity plan.

Emergency Response Plan - This includes details for responding to sudden states of danger that require immediate action.

Pandemic Planning - preparation in the event that a highly infectious virus, such as the Avian flu reaches pandemic stage.

Guides, Templates, and Examples

Business Continuity Planning Tools

  • The responsibility for developing and revamping business continuity plans at higher education organizations can be overwhelming - diverse missions serving many populations lead to complex business processes that may require 24x7 availability. While the tools provided here are not intended to be all-inclusive, they might be helpful in determining how to provide continuity of business operations given an emergency.

Business Continuity Overview for Executives

  • A few alternative approaches for discussing business continuity planning with executive administration.

Disaster Recovery Planning Guide

  • A critical component of business continuity initiatives is having a plan for the recovery of information technology resources in the event of a disaster or emergency. This document describes how to develop and update a disaster recovery plan. There are also templates and samples provided to illustrate the plan and to provide actionable resources for those involved in business continuity planning.

Pandemic Planning

  • As contagious diseases continue to mutate and become antibiotic-resistant, many organizations are implementing and funding pandemic preparedness and response plans. Some resources for planning and initiating response are included here.

Communications Planning

  • Resources and templates for managing internal and external communications during a disruption.

Other Resources





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