disaster preparedness

Disaster Preparedness – Being Prepared Isn’t Enough

Hurricane Sandy Causes Floods

Early this week, the world watched as Hurricane Sandy ravaged the north-east United States, causing severe flooding, power outages, and more. However, it wasn’t only individuals who were affected by the storm – many companies, particularly ones with large online presences, were affected as well, as the data centers hosting their sites flooded, causing all sorts of problems online.

Websites like Gawker, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and others scrambled late Monday night, as the datacenter hosting their sites had to be shut down due to flooding and pump problems. Some sites were smart enough to have their data hosted on multiple servers, so that the outage wasn’t too big of a problem.

Other sites scrambled to recreate their sites and data on other networks, to ensure content was still viewable. And then there were those sites who thought they had their emergency plan in place, until they attempted to put the plan into action, only to discover huge problems and unforeseen obstacles.

So what does Hurricane Sandy, and these unlucky companies teach us about emergency plans? While disaster preparedness is important, it is simply not enough to ensure that your data is safe from a catastrophe.

Here are some tips to ensure that your business isn’t only backed up, but prepared to take on whatever emergency the weather might bring.

Backup Your Data

The first step to ensuring your business is protected is to make sure that your data is backed up regularly. Backups should be run nightly, or even several times throughout the day, to ensure that the backups have the most updated data. Backing up once a month, or less, could cause bigger problems if an emergency arises.

Redundancy

But, backing up data isn’t enough. The data needs to be stored somewhere, preferably off site, in multiple locations. That way if one of your backup locations is affected by inclement weather, you always access it from another location.

Have an Emergency Plan in Place

It is important to have an emergency plan in place, even if your company is in a region that isn’t affected by weather too often. If your location has ever had a history of flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or more, it’s important to ensure that your emergency plan deals with these types of emergencies, so that your business isn’t ruined in the event that your region is affected.

Test Your Plan Prior to Execution

Even if you have a plan in place, it won’t do your business any good if it isn’t tested prior to execution. As we saw with Hurricane Sandy, many companies that thought they were protected simply weren’t, all because they didn’t take the time to test.

If you are concerned about how your business would fair during a flood, hurricane, or other natural disaster, contact us today. We can review your setup and help you create a plan that not only works, but that will ensure you are protected should an emergency ever arise.