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Disaster Planning and Recovery Toolkit

Resources to help you keep disasters from becoming disastrous

Disaster preparedness isn't just about being ready for a fire or earthquake; it’s a nimble, flexible approach to your organization’s day-to-day programs and operations. A natural disaster may never hit your office, but by adopting certain technologies and strategies, you can deepen your nonprofit’s impact and make your work faster and more efficient. The provisions that ease rebuilding your tech infrastructure also let you build an ad-hoc office to carry out your mission in a new place or circumstance. For this reason, we hope that the resources in this toolkit will not only prepare you for a crisis, but deepen your nonprofit’s impact in times of health too.

The Resilient Organization: A Guide for Disaster Planning and Recovery

The Resilient Organization is a holistic guide to disaster planning and recovery. This book is intended both for organizations striving to be better prepared for an emergency and for organizations striving to rebuild and maintain operations after a disaster.

The Resilient Organization is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. If you adapt all or part of this guide for a particular organization type, country, or disaster, we’d love to see it and, if applicable, publish it through our various channels. Send us an email at

Download the Guide

The Resilient Organization (PDF)

The Resilient Organization (Word)

The Resilient Organization (ePUB) 

The Resilient Organization (mobi) 

Post-Impact Operations Analysis Worksheets (Excel)  (These customizable Excel worksheets complement the example worksheets in Chapter 9 of the guide.)

We invite readers and organizations to share their own disaster planning and response resources using the tsdp tag in Delicious. 

Adaptations and Localizations

Chinese Translation Project

TechSoup Taiwan has organized a volunteer project to translate and localize The Resilient Organization in Chinese. Share this resource with Chinese-speaking colleagues or join the localization effort yourself.



Additional Resources

TechSoup Talks! Webinars

In this online seminar, we discuss the ins and outs of getting your organization in tip-top shape before a disaster or crisis happens. We review best practices, tips, and resources for developing and implementing a disaster-preparedness plan at your organization that will help you not only when a crisis hits, but every day.

Join TechSoup as we review various approaches to backup and help you implement a solution that readies your organization for any disaster — however big or small — that might come your way.

General Guides

This guide, courtesy of NPower, outlines the key steps for developing and implementing a thorough response plan before a disaster strikes.

“How do you know it’s a disaster? When critical services aren’t happening.” The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York offers this guide to documenting key business processes to ensure continuity during a disaster.

This packet of resources, used by the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service for their training workshops, can help public libraries and archives document emergency procedures and perform impact analysis and triage after a disaster.

Unified Communications

In a disaster scenario, it’s essential that fast communication not require employees’ physical presence in the office. Examining your communications infrastructure will help prepare your nonprofit for sudden changes.

Backup and Recovery


Frequent backups (and frequent tests of those backups) are an essential component of disaster preparedness. These articles examine the two main types of backup, local and remote.


While performing routine maintenance chores — such as defragmenting hard drives — can help keep your organization's machines running smoothly, sometimes trouble finds you in the form of malware, software designed to damage a computer system and compromise a user's privacy.

Visit’s Security Corner for security strategies and best practices as well as the latest security advisories.


Donated and Discounted Software

Browse TechSoup Canada’s selection of donated and discounted backup software.

Free Software

BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up Linux, WinXX and MacOSX PCs and laptops to a server's disk.

This add-in simplifies the oft-neglected backup of your personal folders in Microsoft Outlook.

Despite its name, SyncToy is a powerful utility to manage files in different locations, most notably in situations where you would routinely copy files to the same location.