Some years back, I was contracted as an "Interim IT Manager" at a company in Memphis, TN, during the transition from local ownership and IT processing to a regional IT processing under a new management (the one that acquired the local company). One of the benefits that was touted for the centralized approach to the IT processing was that the larger comany that now owned the facility would be better prepared to handle any and all contingencies . . . including having a Disaster Recovery Plan.
After about 3 months of preparation of the DR Plan, I got a call in the middle of the night announcing that a "Disaster" had struck and the plan was being implemented (as a drill, of course). I dutifully notified the local staff and the night shift operator. I then eexplained to the other 2 operators that I wanted them to come in 45 minutes before the end of the shift that they were relieving so that we could brief them on the situation at that point and have a smoother transition. (That last bit was not an official part of the DR Plan but one that I had tried to get put into it . . . without any luck, since I was "just a contractor." ;-)
The plan involved dismounting all the disc platters from the Atlanta facility and flying the entire crew to a Florida location where there was an "identical" facility. So, after getting to the local office, I called in and they were just leaving for the airport. A little over 2 hours later, I got a call announcing that they had landed and were en route to the emergency facility. About an hour after that, I got a call regarding which IP adress we should be conmnecting to for any communications with the replacement mainframe. About an hour after that I got another call . . . stand down, the drill is over, the drill has been aborted.
The post mortem, late the next day, revealed that the disc platters had been dismounted, as per the instructions in the plan, and, in fact, every instruction in the plan had been dilligently and meticulously followed. Unfortunately, there was no instruction in the plan for putting the disc platters on the airplane
, so,when they got to the Florida facility and it came to the instructions for mounting the disc . . . there weren't any discs to mount.
That was my first experience with a DR Plan and I learned an important lesson from it, as expressed by the IT manager to whom I reported a the time:
Before conducting the Disaster Drill, walk through the process on site with an office designated as you "transportation" and make sure that everything is accounted for.
Ralph D. Wilson II
"Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the ax."