Computer Science

Disaster Recovery Plan

Planning for a disaster is a tricky situation that requires much time and research on accessing the proper procedures and protocols to follow. Disasters usually do not happen very often, but when they do, some companies especially small are left unprepared. A disaster can be classified as any event that interrupts the flow of the normal operations, and business functions including, hackings, computer viruses, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, fires, and other detrimental events.  A Disaster recovery plan (DRP) is essential in every organization. It ensures that the organization and the materials it holds are safely secured in effort to not impact the operations of the organization. A Disaster Recovery Plan will consists of well-developed strategies, precautions, and actions that need be taken in place of a disaster to help minimize the impact and serve for a quick recovery. A good disaster recovery plan will implement a strong plan of action to prevent or in the worst case scenario help to manage the organization in a disaster.


The organization chosen for this paper is the University Boulevard Library of The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. The campus and library are located at a common place where water damage is significantly high due to flooding, hurricanes, and tropic storms which normally hit every hurricane system. Brownsville was recently voted 10th worst place for a hurricane out of the country. (Sperlings, n.d) The Library data consists of books, and computer systems. Along with the everyday traffic of students and faculty, they are at potential risks of natural disasters half of the school year. Implementing an effective disaster recovery plan is essential in the protection of the library. The university serves over 17,000 students throughout the year from Texas and parts of Mexico. The University of Texas at Brownsville is located in the southern part of Brownsville, Texas while taking over 524 acres of land. One of the many buildings located on campus is the University Boulevard Library, a new addition that provides space of over 300,000 volumes, computer labs, reference materials, study areas, on-site and online learning labs and distance education capabilities, this $14.4 million facility also serves as a venue for art shows, educational demonstrations and community information.(UTB, 2013)

“The University Boulevard’s mission is to is to combine the strengths of a community college library with those of an upper-level and graduate library to enhance and facilitate the dissemination of information—through print, media, audio and electronic resources—to faculty, staff and students, thereby meeting their educational needs.”(UTB, 2013). The university library’s objective is to provide electronic bibliographic access to the best materials within its own system and to materials located elsewhere. And their goals are to provide students and staff with the essential materials needed in order for students to meet their academic goals. The size of the library is 41,000 gross square footages of space. The layout includes two floors of stack space for books, main lobby, cafe, study rooms, computer lab, and spaces for students, administration, and other designated areas. The below diagram shows layouts of the floors of the library. The entire library is hooked up to a network architect of wireless computer system. Structured around colored concrete, hardwood floors, and carpet.

Network Diagram

The University Boulevard Library uses a wireless network. The campus however are connected to the main campus via inter-building wireless links. Some of the buildings are connected using T1’s.(UTB, 2013)

This is a proposed data network, which can be given where everything is backed up on a system for the library.

Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Declaration,

The purpose of the disaster declaration is to inform the institution, and state the library or other facilities were severely damaged during a disaster. For example, the following is a disaster declaration for the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southernmost College, University Boulevard Library. The following hurricane season has brought on flooding, extreme winds, rains, and tropical depressions. It has left the city of Brownsville, and the University Boulevard Library a disaster area, with much of the building flooded out, with extreme wind and water damage to the buildings and materials. When this happens it alerts the mayor, governor, and if needed the president that aid needs to be rendered to help out with the disaster areas.

Assessment of Security

Security is beneficial even without a disaster hitting. In the case of University Boulevard library, the security put in place in case of a disaster is to first lock down all windows and entry ways. Secure the data, by backing up all files in the computer system, and efforts to protect data and materials by a method placing them in a freezing facility. Each department or entity responsible for a server(s) maintains a recovery plan that includes the following:    Requirements for offsite storage, physical access controls for onsite and offsite storage, and processes to ensure backups can be recovered.(UTB, 2013). In the event of a disaster, University of Brownsville, has developed and maintains a successful information security program that includes, enforceable policies and procedures to protect privacy and safeguard UTB/TSC’s information assets.(UTB, 2013) They have also developed their contingency plan that require institutions to protect the security of records containing SSNs during storage. Through the procedures of a data backup plan, disaster recovery, and emergency mode operation plans.

Potential Scenario

A potential scenario of a disaster for University Boulevard library is the potential hurricane that will tear through the city bringing hard rain, powerful winds, and much flooding. The hurricane brings much water damage to the library destroying books, systems, carpets, and other fixtures. In the case of water damage for the library the procedures put in place, is the first warning of the hurricane, the staff moves to evacuate all the students and personnel. Backup all materials, and provide inventory of all files and data. Then start to move all the computer systems if they are located by the windows, unplug all electronics, and cover up with plastic coverings. If possible move systems into a back storage or closet facility. In prepping for the hurricane, catalog where everything is place in efforts of providing a census of damaged after the event. Soon as, everyone is out of building, the lights are out, and the building is shut down. The disaster will hit. The next day, they staff returns if able to assess the damage. In doing, so a camera is needed in taking pictures, surveying and recording possible damage, and estimating the costs of salvageable materials.

Disaster Recovery Procedures

In the event of a disaster hitting the library, several recovery procedures are implementing in hopes of restoring all the material. These procedures include, when recovering from water damage, a power outage is sure to occur, the first priority is to wait to turn on electronics. Check the breakers, and look for falling power lines. Access the damage by recording, jotting down specifics, looking over broken or damaged books, computers, carpet, floors, and other equipment. Check if any of the material is still in good-shape, and once the assessment of the building and materials has been made, then it is time to clear the debris. If the damage is severe contacting the head of university or person in charge of disaster recovery, and alerting them that aid is needed. If the whole city has been wrecked then a disaster declaration will be made.

IRT Charter

Executive Summary

The purpose of the Incident Response Team (IRT) charter is to set out guidelines and procedures in the event that a disaster were to occur. The following charter provides the steps that need to put in place so that everyone’s role is defined and procedures will be properly followed.

Mission Statement

The mission of this charter is to provide the team with a clear understanding of what to do in a disaster. Our goal is to properly manage and access the situation in an efficient manner, and potentially plan for incident before it happens. By providing service in incident response we effectively protect the materials of the library.

Incident Declaration

In the event that incident were to occur, the proper procedures and protocols need to be taken in ensuring that all objectives and safety obligations are met. Once an incident is to occur the proper management needs to be inform and team needs to gather.

Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of the team is aligned with the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southernmost College. It obtains it’s authority from the President of the University and the Chief Security Officer. The IRT of the University Boulevard Library resides under the Executive Vice President and the Treasurer of the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Roles and responsibilities

The roles of the IRT are delegated as follows, Library Director acts as the team leader until the team is called into its emergency role. At that point, the Library Director, having sole responsibility for the physical facilities and final budget authority, assumes a primary role in managing of incidents. (UTB, 2013) All members will have the responsibility to become thoroughly familiar with the incidents related to computer or library services. A member will be tasked for arranging for availability of in-house emergency supplies for use during a major incident, developing a list of needed supplies and services, including names of contact persons. Another role delegated for the Library Director will write an incident aftermath report in the event one occurs.

Information flow and methods of communication\

In order to effectively communicate, and be in accordance with the incident plan. A meeting will be set up every three months to update and go over the plan and procedures. Library staff names and phone numbers are provided and share in case the need for immediate contact.

Methods and services provided by the IRT

The methods and services provided by the IRT of UBL is to solve all systems problems related to the network infrastructure, provide help with cataloging and other library services. The methods include recording the incident, assessing the manner, and providing solutions in order to solve the problems if applicable.

Authority and reporting procedures

The authority has been given to us by the Chief Security Officer and the President of the University of Brownsville and Texas Southernmost College. The authority to shut down systems that have been compromised at the super user level, and invite other teams from other organizations for help. The reporting procedures that this charter follows that the team members write up incidents and report to the team leader so that it can be recorded in filed for future reference and auditing. In case of an emergency or security breach, the proper channels will be alerted, and procedures will be put in place.


Bond Projects – Welcome to blue. (2013). University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. Retrieved from

Disaster Recovery Plan for the University Boulevard Library. (2013). The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. Retrieved from

Forming and Managing an Incident Response Team.(n.d) Chapter 4. Retrieved from

Hurricane Hotspots. The Worst Places for Hurricanes. (n.d) Sperling’s Best Places. Retrieved from

Library:Mission and History. (2013). University Boulevard Library. Retrieved from