Planning for disaster recovery is not easy. Planners need to envisage every possible contingency and provide for it. They need to train their trainers to train others in handling simulated disaster situations efficiently and effectively, so that they remain in control when actual disaster strikes the organization.
Trainers must be carefully selected. Trainers must have a complete overview of the disaster management system. They should be proactive individuals who have the capacity to adjust the plan and make it flexible enough to fit around unexpected situations and conditions during live implementations that may or may not have been factored in by the original plan.
Trainers should be leaders. They must be able to command attention and should be able to enforce discipline in team members. At the same time, the trainer should be capable of delegating authority to team players and ensuring that they have the freedom to act within a given framework in emergency situations.
So, training the trainers begins with involvement. The trainers must be people who have walked the walk with you and have helped you visualize and stimulate every imaginable disaster situation. They must understand the impact and the outcomes of disasters and must be ready to take all necessary preventive actions to avert any multiplier effects that may be set in motion due to ignorance or panic. The trainers must be people who can be expected to hold on to the larger picture while they delegate tasks and activities to others who form part of the disaster management team.
Disaster training itself should be iteratively conducted in simulated situations to fine tune the plan and train the trainer in identifying gaps in plans, fine tuning issues, and resolving problems that may arise during implementation. They should be permitted to challenge theoretical percepts and allowed the freedom to pinpoint issues that were not considered during the plan-drafting phase. In short, they must have a buy in to the plan and be ready to implement it faithfully and to the best of their ability in the disaster environment.
Training the trainers for disaster recovery cannot be done overnight. It is a long drawn process and is often an iterative process. As business environments change, newer disasters emerge and planning and training for these disasters must be undertaken with vigor and energy. Training the trainer for disaster recovery is a part of your overall disaster recovery strategy. It is your insurance against disaster.