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Hurricane Season is Approaching – How to Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

09/13/2018

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By: DeAnna Brooks, Client Success Specialist at LBMC Technology Solutions

Hurricane Florence is quickly approaching the East Coast, and CBS News cited an analysis by CoreLogic that put the potential financial toll at $170 Billion, with roughly 759,000 homes and businesses damaged. To put this in perspective, Hurricane Katrina brought $161 billion in losses and Hurricane Harvey at $125 Billion. We at LBMC Technology Solutions hope our friends to the East have prepared for the worst and would like to remind our audience how important it is to prepare your organization for a natural disaster of any kind. If you are unsure of where to start, keep reading below for a few key things to keep in mind.

Disaster #1: Tropical storms and hurricanes

Tropical storms and hurricanes are some of the most destructive natural disasters in existence because they combine both high-winds and heavy rain and flooding. These disasters can impact operations in many ways; direct physical damage to structures, extended power outages and road closures and can affect your business, employees and customers alike. In the event of a regional disaster, in addition to protecting and restoring your own operations, businesses should be prepared to help their customers and partners get through the disaster.

These storms can put a data center out for weeks, months or even permanently, so it is important to be prepared by:

  • Complete backups for data, applications or any other critical piece of your organization in an off-site location
  • Have an emergency notice prepared for the company website that can be activated remotely and modified as restorations are being made
  • Cover and protect vital documents and electrical equipment from potential wind-driven rain, which may breach the building envelope through windows, doors and roof systems
  • Have a plan to restore IT operations in the cloud or at a site safely away from the threat of these storms. This restoration may require the evacuation of your key IT personnel, or have remote personnel available to work remotely as the area’s mobile data services are interrupted
  • It is important to ensure that your insurance policy will cover all aspects of continuing their business operations, not just repairing physical losses

Disaster #2: Flood

When flooding occurs, the areas of highest impact are basements and first floors. The loss of essential records, files, and other materials is common and can not only add to your damage costs but also delay your return to normal operations.

FEMA recommends to take the following steps to reduce vulnerability:

  • Raise computers above flood level and move them away from large windows
  • Moving heavy and fragile objects to low shelves

And, as always:

  • Arrange to have incoming calls rerouted to an alternative site or to employee’s cell phones
  • Complete backups for data, applications or any other critical piece of your organization in an off-site location
  • Have an emergency notice prepared for the company website that can be activated remotely and modified as restorations are being made

Disaster #3: Tornado or high-wind storm

With roughly 1,000 tornados a year in the U.S., tornados and high-wind storms can occur anywhere, not just in “Tornado Alley”.  These storms can occur with little warning…any business in the path of a tornado should prepare for the complete destruction of their technology infrastructure.

  • It is imperative to have complete backups for data, applications and any other critical piece of your organization in an off-site location
  • On-demand availability of failover IT infrastructure offsite or cloud-based
  • On-demand availability of failover voice/fax call switching

Disaster #4: Fire

Even small fires can cause additional indirect damage to buildings, as flooding can occur as a result of the fire department putting it out. A large fire can displace a business temporarily or even permanently. It is important to be prepared for extended or permanent building damage by:

  • Arrange to have incoming calls rerouted to an alternative site or to employee’s cell phones
  • Complete backups for data, applications or any other critical piece of your organization in an off-site location  (Do you notice a trend here?)
  • Have an emergency notice prepared for the company website that can be activated remotely and modified as restorations are being made

LBMC Technology Solutions is committed to helping our customers prepare for anything that comes their way.  If you would like to get more information about preparing for disasters (of any kind) please contact us today.

Tagged with: Disaster Recovery