The Disaster Recovery Handbook.

By Thomas W. Leo, CPP

The Disaster Recovery Handbook. By Michael Wallace and Lawrence Webber; published by AMACOM, 800/714-6395 (phone), (Web); 398 pages; $54.

Disaster planning need not be merely a necessary administrative burden. It can be a marketing tool. As the authors of The Disaster Recovery Handbook shrewdly observe, disaster preparedness and recovery is really a service for the client. Customers in effect enter into a partnership with their suppliers for their business essentials, so a disruption in supply can be catastrophic to a customer. Thus, disaster planning can be sold to customers as a pledge that the provider will keep their businesses going even in adverse situations.

This sort of clever repackaging of disaster planning is the type of thinking that sets this book apart from others on the topic. The authors also ask critical baseline questions that are often neglected. For example, many firms develop plans without first defining their assets, including hard-to-quantify data. This book starts with the admonition that assets must be defined before plan development gets started.

This is a thoroughly researched, simply presented, and well-written work that gently guides the reader through the process of developing a plan. A CD included with the book contains, in both Word and PDF formats, the forms mentioned in the text, from a service-contract list to a sample backup schedule. Companies without any plans would find this book most beneficial, and those with plans would gain by checking their preparedness efforts against the principles laid out in the book.

Reviewer: Thomas W. Leo, CPP, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a life member of ASIS International, and a lifetime CPP. He has served two terms each on the ASIS Board of Directors and the Professional Certification Board, and he continues to serve the profession in various capacities.



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