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Business Continuity and Disaster Planning Services

"Master of Disaster" and more ...




Disaster planning for information technologies has taken on an increased importance at many institutions. This has been precipitated by renewed interest from Boards of Trustees, auditors, Risk Managers, and prudent IT managers all concerned with:

*    Safety and security of campus students, faculty, staff and visitors.
*    Vulnerabilities and business continuity in the wake of recent natural and man-made disasters.
*    Risks and liabilities associated with on-campus events.
*    Concerns with points-of-failure in networks and applications critical to day-to-day operations.
*    Concerns with keeping communications operable in case of a campus-wide or regional disaster.
*    Outside perspective on the many issues associated with disaster planning.

Compass is available to assist institutions with disaster planning in many ways.

Sample clients include:

• Baylor University
• Temple University
• University of Denver

• Texas Christian University




Risk Audits

There is increased awareness at all levels of the need for a comprehensive disaster plan – one that addresses critical technology services as well as IT/Telecom’s role in a broader institution-wide emergency. While Compass can help by reviewing an existing plan or helping you write a whole new one, there is always the question of have I missed anything?

Toward this end, Compass offers an IT Disaster Preparedness Risk Analysis Audit where we will come to your campus, inspect data and telephone equipment rooms, server rooms, review your network designs, etc. and provide an assessment of risk factors and recommendations for addressing them.

Areas which will be investigated include:
• Spaces and pathways
• Equipment locations
• Redundancy, diverse routing, and alternate routing
• Power and lightning protection
• Water and flood
• Fire protection
• Physical security and sabotage
• Network security and hacking (in conjunction with our partner, VTCG)

This is a brief, high-return project that can help you better understand your levels of risk and readiness.

Quotes for an IT Disaster Preparedness Risk Analysis Audit will be provided upon request. Costs depend on areas to be addressed, the size and topology of your campus(es), the number of equipment sites, and the size of your network(s).

Disaster Plan Review

Most institutions have an IT disaster plan but having a plan may not be enough if the plan isn’t well organized, up-to-date, and easy to use. Too many plans have been written more to appease the auditors than to provide the information required for on-the-spot decision making in time of crisis.

Compass will review your disaster documents and annotate them to provide concrete, real world recommendations on organization, system documentation forms, lists and tables, and strategies for gathering information and keeping it up-to-date. We will also comment on completeness, staffing, approach, and ease of maintenance.

Compass generally begins this type of project with a review of your documentation and a visit to your campus so that we can put the written documents into a real world context. Costs are based on estimated hours to review and comment on the plan.

Emergency Notification - 
"Inside, Outside, At Your Side, and In Your Face..."

Institutions have always been challenged by the need to notify large and disparate groups, on and off campus, of events such as disasters, severe weather, environmental risks, school closings, class cancellations, and other happenings too numerous to mention. Today, event notification has taken on a whole new level of urgency.
Event notification can take many forms and use many technologies from very high-tech to very low-tech. Your standard SMS/email/phone solution may not be enough. The best solution may not be a single approach but simultaneous parallel approaches driven by:
• Who you need to contact
• Where
• How quickly
• For what purposes
• What technologies you have available to build upon
Compass can assist you with the planning and implementation of such systems as a stand-alone project or as part of a broader business continuity plan.

Master of Disaster

Master of Disaster is a facilitated, interactive, scenario-building and role-playing board game for testing disaster recovery plans and for training in disaster preparedness. It is designed to create hypothetical disaster scenarios and uses discussions and role-playing to get all the parties involved in and oriented to the disaster planning process. Disaster scenarios are generated using special cards and dice and the team is asked by the Compass facilitator to walk through the stages of responding to the situation generated. “Uh-Oh Cards” provide another level of depth to the game by bringing into play those unexpected blessings or curses that seem to come hand-in-hand with real disasters.

We use Master of Disaster in several ways to further disaster planning/business continuity projects – to kick-off a disaster planning project or to test and train on a disaster plan that already exists or is under development. Some of those approaches make good one-day activities that can help you even if you’ve decided to go the do-it-yourself route with business continuity planning.

How can Master of Disaster help you?


233 Heaths Bridge Road
Suite 102
Concord, MA 01742