IT Disaster Recovery Templates: How To Write One From Scratch

The disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a comprehensive document written to help businesses resume functionality in the event of a disaster. Disasters are defined as anything that cause interruption to business operations, which could range from cyberattacks to natural disasters like hurricanes

Looking for a free IT disaster recovery template? In this article, we break down the necessary components of your DRP to make your recovery process more streamlined. 

Read on to find out how to save your data and minimize downtime with a free recovery plan template that could help you get started. 

What Should an IT Disaster Recovery Plan Include?

For the most part, DRPs are similar regardless of your industry and organization’s size. However, the following core components must be present in your document:

  • Asset Inventory: What hardware and software are you currently using in your office? How many devices are currently being used and stored in your office? How are you currently storing data?
  • Priorities and Strategy: What are your disaster recovery goals? How do you go about restoring business functions? What are the crucial functions that you want to restore first? What precautions are you taking to make sure that your data is protected?
  • Asset Replication: Do you have backups uploaded into the cloud? Do you have physical back-ups available? Do you have spare equipment or replacement parts available on demand?
  • Role Assignments: Who is in charge of declaring a disaster? Do you have employees specifically for disaster recovery operations? What are the roles and responsibilities of each team member?
  • Remote Work Protocol: If your primary work site is inaccessible, how do your employees go about operations? Do you have work-from-home protocols or do you have a secondary site prepared? Does your team need to use their own devices; if so, how will they connect remotely to the computer network?

Before drafting your DRP, we recommend understanding the basics of disaster recovery planning. Knowing why your business needs a DRP and what kind of disasters you should expect could help you frame your document better in a way that’s really helpful to your company. 

Disaster Recovery Plan Template 


This part must list out basic information about the disaster recovery plan, including what kind of disasters the business is most susceptible to, as well as a definition of what a “disaster” is. Setting parameters for what counts as a disaster will help your organization manage interruptions optimally. 

Disaster Definition

This section identifies the different events resulting in business interruptions. Edit this template according to your company.

  • Vital systems such as [example] are non-functional for [period of time]
  • The office is not accessible but the systems are all functional
  • The office is inaccessible and systems are down 

Expected Disasters

This section describes the events that could result in a disaster. Edit this template according to your business.

  • Cyberattack 
  • Hardware failure
  • Flooding, fire or other natural disaster
  • Civil unrest
  • Theft or vandalism 
  • Employee attack 

Purpose of the DRP

This section outlines the goals of the DRP. What does your business hope to achieve by following the strategies outlined in the disaster recovery plan? This section depends on the scope of the disaster, your IT assets, your business operations, and whether or not you have an IT team on board. Edit this template according to your company. 

  • Prevent or minimize data loss
  • Minimize system downtime 
  • Ensure [business operation] is functional through a disaster 

Emergency Contact Form 

This is an integral part of your DRP. The emergency contact form makes it easy for your disaster recovery team to keep in touch with relevant individuals in order to get your systems up and running again. 

Include important details such as:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Title or role in the organization
  • Type of contact detail (at the very least include work and mobile phone numbers as well as valid email addresses)
  • Contact information 

Include the information of the following personnel on your emergency contact form:

  • Property manager/building landlord: In the event your office is inaccessible or evacuations are necessary, the property manager might be able to assist you. 
  • Representative of a utility company: If possible, stay connected with a personnel from the company who is in charge of your power and internet. They can help resolve issues quickly in the event of a downtime.
  • Insurance provider: On top of keeping necessary documentation in place, keep your providers’ contact details in handy for easy verification and submission. 
  • Device suppliers: Where do you source your devices and software? Keep their contact details in hand so any member of the DR team can easily get in touch with vendors and source crucial devices such as servers when damaged or rendered inaccessible. 
  • DRaaS provider: Does your organization have access to a secondary worksite in the event of a disaster? Keep the company’s information accessible, alongside your ticket or reference number, for easier transactions. 

DRP Updates and Extra Information 

Regular testing is part of the planning for disaster recovery. During your tests, you might discover weaknesses in your DRP and enhancements on how to fortify your plan. This section is meant to reflect these changes as well as the individuals responsible for them. This ensures that all DRPs are updated and are up to the standards of the most recent tests. 

Include the following details for this section:

  • Person responsible for making change
  • Role or title in the organization
  • Date of implementation 
  • Change description

This must include all changes to the DRP, from changed protocols to new responsibilities from team members even if it’s as simple as who’s contacting whom. 

The Disaster Recovery Team 

A clear identification of the disaster recovery team will ensure that your organization has individuals responsible for crucial roles and tasks. 

Doing so will also prevent confusion and hesitation, allowing your organization to move towards business continuity even without hands-on management

When writing your disaster recovery document, make sure to include the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Title or role in the organization
  • Role as part of disaster recovery team 
  • Type of contact detail (at the very least include work and mobile phone numbers as well as valid email addresses)
  • Contact details 
  • Roles and responsibilities. Break down the various responsibilities associated with the team member’s position in the disaster recovery team. Who is in charge of communicating with the emergency contacts? Who organizes DRP testing? Who is responsible for ensuring that all backups are operational before, during, and after a disaster? These are just some of the questions your DRP must cover. 

Common disaster recovery assignments and tasks:

This part of the disaster recovery plan template depends on your organization. Some businesses will have separate teams in charge of applications, backups, servers, endpoint devices, network, and personnel. 

You don’t have to designate a team for each facet of this recovery disaster plan. At the very least, your plan must have personnel in charge of checking and restoring the mentioned business features. 

IT Inventory and Misc Info

This is another part of the disaster recovery plan template that’s supposed to be more tailored for  your organization. Before filling out this section, meet up with management to understand what applications, devices, and other tools employees use and need on a daily basis. 

Use the following disaster recovery plan template when creating your asset inventory: 

Firstly, group your assets accordingly. From network equipment (router, VPN devices, firewalls) and other physical hardware to endpoint devices (laptop, desktop, printer, webcam).

Second, list out important details such as:

  • Model number
  • Provider
  • A quick description of the item (small black box, big circular disk with silver panels)
  • If relevant, the recovery time objective
  • If relevant, the recovery point objective 
  • Misc details (bandwidth, attachments and accessories) 

Make Your Disaster Recovery Foolproof With A Plan 

Ultimately, effective disaster recovery plans can be carried out without hands-on management. Your goal as the disaster recovery planner is to figure out crucial operations and functions, the tools associated with them, and optimal ways to restore them as fast as possible. 

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The Abacus Blog Team
At Abacus IT, our blog is authored by a team of IT experts with a wealth of experience in various facets of technology. Our primary blog author is a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. With a deep understanding of cybersecurity, cloud solutions, network infrastructure, and IT management, our author provides valuable insights and actionable tips to help you optimize your IT operations.

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