Here we are in the middle of hurricane season and sure enough, a tropical storm is in the Gulf Region and we are expecting potential life threatening flash flooding in some areas. High winds, heavy rains, can lead to potential power outages, flooding, damages to your property at your home and at your place of work. Even if your specific area doesn’t take on the brunt of the storm, the days leading up to a storm are a great time to review and put to practice your Disaster Recovery Plan, or DR plan. If you do not have a DR plan, it’s not too late to put in place a basic DR plan in advance of an incoming storm. Here are some quick tips to do so protect the safety employees, data, and business operations.
Employee Safety is Most Important
As a business owner, my number one concern is the safety of my employees. As a Technology provider, our responsibility at Nocserv is to ensure that communication channels are available and working for your business, but it is your responsibility is to set a plan in place to account for the safety of all your people. For example, put a plan in place to have your managers account for the safety of all their staff, and then they report back to the executive leadership to be sure everyone is accounted for. Be specific on how communication will work. Is this a text? An email? A phone call? Is there a certain amount of time that elapses where they would report a potential problem?
If your employees can work from home, let them do in advance of major storms so that they do not need to take to the dangerous roads to get back to their homes and families. In this scenario, another consideration is power at your building. Say you are going to be in the office during a storm. Are you UPS batteries on all your desktops, in your datacenter closet charged. It may be a good time to stop by the local computer store and grab a few extra batteries or UPS’s. Is everything surge protected? If you have a generator is it fueled up and ready to go. If that is the responsibility of your property owner, you may want to check with your building management. What is your process for shutting down servers and other critical computer systems if there is a major power outage? Who is responsible for that work?
Backup All Critical Data
My number two concern is my data. Be sure that all your data is backed up and offsite where it will be safe from damage. If you already have offsite backup, it’s a great time before a storm to test the recovery of your backups. If you do not have offsite backup, you will want to run backups on your critical data like account packages and core business applications onto portable media like an encrypted thumb drive or DVD. Also, you may consider having your staff do the same with their PC’s through windows and keeping it in a separate place than their computers. It is important that this is on encrypted media in case the device is lost or stolen.
Business Continuity Strategy
My number three concern is business continuity. If your business does experience issues related to a storm, what is the plan to get your business up and running again? Who in your company does what? What communication goes out to your customers and partners and who will do that work? You may want to think about your operation and determine what people and software have the biggest business impact and start from there with writing out some basic processes to get that back online first. The goal here is to have this external condition outside of your control, have a minimal impact on your business by managing what you can control.
Nocserv Can Help You with Your DR Plan
It’s a little late to catch us before Tropical Storm Cindy, but if you are concerned about your business continuity during and after a disaster, give us a call today at 713-524-1800 to schedule an appointment after the storm. Learn more about our Managed Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services.
Source: New feed