Offers a crisis management critique of the information systems and contingency planning literature and puts forward recommendations for disaster recovery. The internal and hardware focus of disaster recovery permits only partial examination of the causes of disasters and seeks to treat their effects or symptoms rather than to prevent them. Concludes with a series of recommendations for information systems planners. Information systems crises should be perceived as the result of an interaction between a number of internal and external factors. Preventing information systems crises, therefore, requires attention to complex system issues.