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4 Steps to Disaster Readiness for Severe Weather

The key to disaster preparedness is having a plan in place long before disaster strikes. Are you prepared for the threat of severe weather this spring? This month, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) projects a heightened risk for severe weather to expand across the Ohio Valley and into the Carolinas. May is the peak of tornado season, and hurricane season is just a month away.

In 2017, we endured an extremely active hurricane season with 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to researchers at Colorado State University (CSU), the 2018 hurricane season is also predicted to have above-average hurricane activity. The devastation from last season reinforces the importance of being prepared for all types of disasters that severe weather can inflict. This spring, make sure your business is ready to endure tropical storms, severe thunderstorms and flooding with these 4 tips:

Prepare for flooding.

According to FEMA, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the US and can occur in any region, especially during storm season. Protect your equipment by storing it above ground level. This includes desktop computers, server racks and power generators that you’ll want to keep safe from floodwater. This may require physically moving your equipment to another location further away from the threat of flooding. Your disaster recovery (DR) plan should also include arrangements to conduct business at an alternate location in the case that flooding directly affects your office. At Immedion, our Disaster Recovery service offers customers a temporary work space to help get their business operations back up and running in the aftermath of disaster. For more help preparing for floods, use our Flood Preparedness Guide.

Protect your data and systems.

Severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes have the power to cause outages that can last for days on end, halting business operations. Downtime caused by disaster is something most businesses can’t afford. FEMA reports that following a disaster, 40 percent of businesses do not reopen. Of those that do, another 25 percent fail within a year.

Protect your data and systems by utilizing a geographically diverse disaster recovery facility to replicate your data so that it is always available for restoration. Make sure there is a sufficient amount of distance between your primary production environment and your DR site to reduce the risk of an outage.

Backups are also crucial to ensure the data and applications your business depends upon are retained. Protect your on-site data by performing regular backups to guarantee you have access to the most recent version of your data. It is also a good idea to backup to multiple off-site servers, especially if you are in a hurricane prone area.

Set communications guidelines.

Be sure your DR plan covers your employees as well as your systems and data. Will you be able to reach your employees to ensure they are safe? How will you let them know whether the office is open or closed? It is important to have an updated list of all employee names and contact information and make sure there is an alternative method of communication that can be used should the internet be compromised.

Test your plan.

Most importantly, you must test your plan to ensure it is effective when a disaster does strike. All necessary staff members should be trained in DR management, making sure they are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to executing your plan. It is critical to regularly review and test your disaster recovery plan before a disaster; don’t wait until it’s too late.

Do you need help with your disaster recovery strategy? Immedion’s technical advisors are experienced in assisting customers throughout the disaster recovery planning and implementation process. Contact us to develop a reliable and functional plan so you will be ready when disaster is at hand.

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