Is Your Business Ready for Hurricane Season 2015?

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season in the United States. If a hurricane were to strike tomorrow, would your business be prepared? Don’t wait until it’s too late to think about disaster recovery, business continuity and data backup:

Data from the National Archives & Records Administration shows that 60 percent of companies that lose data in a disaster will shut down within six months of the event.

Taking action now can protect your employees and company should a hurricane hit your business this year. Let’s look at a few key steps that can help your business prepare for hurricane season.

Prepare and Practice

The best way to minimize the damaging effects of a hurricane is to develop a strong overall strategy for your business. Identify your mission-critical applications, key employees and important backup data. Think about what business capabilities and functions you would potentially lose in the event of a hurricane, and develop a communication plan that can keep you in touch with employees. While you can create a solid emergency plan by addressing these issues, no plan is truly effective if you don’t practice it. Your employees need to be educated and well-trained in their roles. Test out your plan using simulated disasters and drills, and make sure your employees understand all aspects of the plan.

Back Up Your Data

Having data backup procedures in place can play a significant role in protecting your business from a hurricane. If you’re just getting started with a backup plan, your first step is to identify your business’s essential data that should be backed up. Full backups should be performed weekly; if a large amount of data is generated by your business each day, you should back up your data even more frequently. Daily incremental backups are also recommended.

Cloud-based storage and business continuity solutions provide an effective way for your company to keep its data safely removed from your physical location. With low overhead, speedy deployment and easy access to data, these solutions offer benefits for both smaller businesses and larger enterprises. The consistency and reliability offered by an offsite infrastructure approach can be invaluable in the days following a hurricane.

Protect Your Equipment and Site

In addition to protecting your data, it’s also important to safeguard your equipment and your site’s facilities. Having an uninterruptible power supply, including generators and batteries, is essential for business continuity after a hurricane. You may also want to consider an alternate water source and a set of pumps to clear flood water from your facility’s lower levels. Once a hurricane warning has been established, boarding up windows and other vulnerable openings on your site can help reduce damage from flying debris during the storm.

It’s clear that ensuring business continuity after a hurricane requires preparation and effort. Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have devastating effects on your business, but planning for the worst can help you mitigate the damage. With the tips outlined in this article, you’ll have a good start on developing a disaster-recovery strategy that works for your business.