Calling 911 On Cell Phone

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 11 – Notification Matrix


When it comes to minor and major disasters, “don’t make me think” should become your mantra. A written Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) can and should cover smaller office “disasters’ as well as major catastrophes. Making sure your employees know who to contact, and in what sequence, can standardize responses that can be quickly implemented.

For example, do your employees know who to contact if the computer room air conditioner should fail? Wouldn’t it be helpful and shorten the reaction time to know that the first call should go to the IT Manager and if that person is not available, then to the Operations Manager, etc.?

You’d be surprised at how many written procedures and DRPs don’t cover scenarios such as these. Yet, equipment failure, of some kind, is a common problem.

When something important happens such as equipment failure, electrical or plumbing issues, etc. don’t rely on your employees to notify the right personnel¾train them to do it. That means a written Notification Matrix.

Here’s the columns you need:

  • Problem or issue statement (e.g. Server Room Air Conditioner issue)
  • 1st call (e.g. IT Manager)
  • 2nd call (e.g. Operations Manager)
  • 3rd call (e.g. CEO)

Now, if you’ve been following this series, you’ll already have incorporated into your DRP, the contact information of each of the individuals listed above.

When an issue occurs, your employees immediately know who to contact first and if that person is not available, who to notify second, and so on.


Don’t leave anything to chance. When a critical problem happens, people panic and may not think clearly. Eliminate the thinking as much as possible. Train them on how to react and document your procedure so newer employees will know.

Related posts:

Now Available: A Simple Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 1 – The Threat Matrix

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 2 – Critical Processes

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 3 – Declaring A Disaster

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 4 – Evacuation Plan

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 5 – The Communication Plan

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 6 – Backup Facilities

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 7 – Emergency & Vendor Information

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 8 – Employee Contact Information

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 9 – Vendor List

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 10 – Client Contacts

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