Hurricane season is coming, but disaster and extended power and internet outages can strike at any time. Is your office prepared? Follow these steps to weather any storm:
1. Keep an Off-Site List of Contacts
You may have thousands of customers and vendors. If you don’t have all your contacts up-to-date on your mobile devices, keeping an offsite contact list printed from your accounting or other business application will help you to stay in touch more easily and keep your business running during downtime. This list should contain vendors that you need to contact every week, as well as any customers with current, unresolved issues. Don’t forget to keep a list of employee phone numbers, too.
2. Back Up Critical Data Offsite
You only have a day or two to prepare after forecasters tell you that a storm has a high chance of hitting your area. Power and internet outages, flooding, and wind damage are all risks to your infrastructure and data that come with a severe storm. So, a good disaster recovery plan will include offsite storage of critical data. If you’re not backing up to an offsite location, you should begin as soon as possible, preferably to another region of the country. If your business has facilities in different states, you may be able to backup between internal sites. Otherwise, cloud storage may be your best bet.
It can take days to backup all your data to a remote site. So, if you wait until the storm is nearing, it’s already too late. Since retrieving your data from remote storage may take days as well, you should utilize a multi-level backup system that includes an on premise device you can take with you if you need to evacuate. You’ll still want remote backup so your eggs aren’t all in one basket.
3. Have a Plan
If your employee’s homes and families are threatened, they will be taking measures to address their personal responsibilities. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) involves prioritization of business processes, fail over for critical operations, and methods for employees to continue to work remotely, even if they need to evacuate.
The good news is there are many affordable options for keeping employees connected so the business can continue to run. Your IT provider can help develop your recovery and continuity plans and design solutions to meet the unique needs of your business.
4. Practice Your Plan
Make sure your staff or IT provider is constantly monitoring backups and doing test restores on a regular basis. At the beginning of hurricane season and again halfway through, step through your recovery plan with your staff to make sure everyone is familiar with what needs to be done to get your company back up and running.
Need help? Contact us for a fully managed, multi-level data backup system to ensure that you don’t lose critical data, no matter what comes your way.