That is basically what I did, I used cron to run my script and it restores the SSH key/hosts list.
I'm pretty sure that the passwd file doesn't get wiped. So you can create a new "backup" user and set that user's home directory in (say) /nfs/homes/backup/ and then create the .ssh dir there.
The only problem i am having is getting cron(I tried adding MAILTO: to the crontab) or bash to send an email, mail does not work there is no mail bin that i can find.
There's a "mailmail" python script that might do what you need. I doubt it's a drop-in replacement for the "mail" program, but it appears to be attempting to emulate sendmail, judging by the arguments in the file /mnt/apps/usr/share/pyshared/twisted/mail/scripts/mailmail.py. The available parameters are:
-F <sender> # set the From (envelope sender) address
-odb # background delivery
-odf # foreground delivery
-oep # print errors
-ep # print errors (same as -oep)
-t # set the envelope recipient address from the To:, Cc: and Bcc: headers
It expects a mailmail config file (in /etc, I think) to define smarthost, otherwise it will attempt to deliver to 127.0.0.1, which will fail. But it appears that user access also needs to be defined there. More details on the format of the /etc/mailmail file is in mailmail.py loadConfig() function.
Having said all of this, I haven't yet been able to get it to work.
You could possibly install something from Optware.