Continuity Centers

Preparing for a hurricane

Hurricane season has already begun, and it is only a matter of time before the first major event of the season strikes the East Coast of the United States. Small businesses in many states have been disrupted and even destroyed by these powerful storms throughout the past few years, and those that fail to prepare properly will tend to face the greatest level of risk in the next few months as the season reaches its peak.

Thanks to the constant innovation and progressive evolution of the disaster recovery and business continuity markets, entrepreneurs need not take a back seat and simply hope that their facilities do not get struck by a storm this summer. Rather, taking a proactive and intelligent approach to managing risk and preparing for the potential damages of a hurricane is more feasible and affordable than ever before.

A look back
The first step is to understand exactly why the small business needs to invest in hurricane preparedness. The Long Island Press reported that Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in 2012, led to an estimated $65 billion in economic damages to the region hit the hardest by the super storm, and ushered in a new era of demand for solutions that will help entrepreneurs navigate the process of recovering from these powerful events.

Several studies have shown a number of decision-makers will actually tend to balk on disaster preparedness and recovery investments because they feel they do not need them. Raising awareness and understanding that an unfortified company is only one major event away from closing its doors forever has been the key to protecting the small business sector and other areas of the American economy.

Hurricane season is heating up, and entrepreneurs must prepare. Hurricane season is heating up, and entrepreneurs must prepare.

Getting the plan right
The National Hurricane Survival Initiative argued that businesses need to take a comprehensive approach to planning, ensuring that physical property, digital assets and operational processes are all safeguarded from disruption caused by a hurricane. The organization stated that the physical property component will not always be controllable, but provisions should still be included in the policy to protect the office before a hurricane swoops overhead.

Additionally, NHSI suggested the use of backups for mission-critical data in case the primary storage environment gets knocked out or completely destroyed by the storm. In most cases, small business owners will need to provision technologies to check data backup off the list, as well as other key components to continuity.

IT considerations
Business leaders are increasingly reliant upon modern technologies offered by managed service providers to function normally and in times of disruption such as when a hurricane strikes. The highest priorities should involve the infrastructure that employees will use to carry on with their responsibilities during and directly following a disaster, as well as the controls necessary to protect data and mission-critical apps.

Entrepreneurs who are not confident in their hurricane preparedness and general recovery capabilities should always consider partnering with a firm that specializes in these matters, as knowledge is vital to the success of these strategies.

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