In the business continuity profession, there are seemingly dozens of acronyms used to describe a multitude of intricacies within the industry: BIA, IMP, EAP, CMT, ICS—you get the idea. For many charged with the added responsibility of managing risks at their organization, it is easy to interchange a few of these terms. Two of the more common ones confused for each other are disaster recovery plans (DRPs) and business continuity plans (BCPs). Here, we’ve explained the difference between the two and why you need both.

DRP vs. BCP: What’s the Difference?

Although disaster recovery can mean different things for different industries, in general, disaster recovery plans document the tasks required to test and, if necessary, recover from a technology incident. Internal and external technology resources determine recovery priorities for critical applications, minimum equipment requirements to support those applications in a recovery environment, and recovery strategies that will meet the established recovery time objective (RTO) requirements defined by business priorities. Business continuity plans, on the other hand, document recovery requirements and associated information to develop processes that build actionable plans to prepare for likely crisis events, ensure the life safety of personnel during crises, and resume business operations after incidents occur. Representatives from all areas within the organization work together to develop plans for each location and functional area which also align with the IT recovery capabilities.

Why Do You Need Both?

Disaster recovery is just one aspect of risk management that falls under the umbrella of business continuity. Business continuity accounts for all incidents that can render a business inoperable and identifies the necessary steps to return to business as usual. Disaster recovery is typically reserved to those issues that affect technology. A DRP will not help your employees understand the appropriate measures for dealing with an active shooter or how to safely exit the building during a fire. 

business continuity disaster recovery Remember all those acronyms? Every single one plays a part in the continuity of operations before, during, and after an incident occurs. To provide you with the basics of what you need to know to build out your complete business continuity program, download “The Umbrella of Business Continuity” infographic. In it you will find explanations of the main aspects of business continuity, such as business impact analyses, incident management plans, and training. Ready to get started? We can provide you with expert analyses, knowledge transfer, and training guidelines during your business continuity plan development to help ensure the effectiveness of the overall program. Not only that, our all-in-one solution conveniently delivers the tools you need to run a successful program, complete with emergency messaging, document storage, and educational resources. For more information, visit or email us at