Hurricane season stretches from June 1 to November 30. The average season brings a 52% chance that a major hurricane will hit the United States. Researchers from Colorado State University predict that up to four hurricanes will strike the continental U.S. coastline in 2020. (If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, we have already hit that number and more.) Coupling this threat with a global pandemic could bring catastrophic consequences to any enterprise.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. With proper preparation, companies can keep employees safe, fulfill their missions, and protect business operations. While hurricanes can be devastating, they are predictable. With advances in weather forecasting, we often get up to a week to get ready.
Don’t wait until a storm is imminent. Below are steps your company can use now to prepare for the next hurricane:
Step 1: Identify threats to your business
All organizations are different, so carefully assess a hurricane’s impact on your own business and employees. Potential threats to consider include road closures, evacuation traffic, power outages, water shortages, gas shortages, flight delays, school closures, structural infrastructure stress, high winds, and flooding*.
Step 2: Define responsibilities
Don’t wait to the last minute to assemble a team of internal stakeholders to make decisions and communicate with employees. A hurricane task force should include representatives from human resources, IT and facilities. Don’t forget to be clear on the contractual obligations of all parties. Review contracts with vendors, property managers and landlords. Specific clauses for weather-related events should be featured in all contracts. If not, contact the owners directly to detail each party’s responsibilities in the event of a hurricane*.
Step 3: Plan for each threat
Once your company’s risks have been identified and roles and responsibilities outlined, create a specific action plan for each hurricane hazard. With these plans in place, employees should be trained and various hurricane scenarios rehearsed with key leaders and managers*.
Your business is more likely to be impacted by a hurricane if:
- You are located on the Gulf Coast or the eastern United States
- Your business is located in a floodplain.
- You store products or equipment on the first floor of a building or in a basement.
- The facility housing your IT infrastructure is not built to sustain high winds or flying debris.
What Your Company Can Do to Improve Business Resilience
Thoroughly Investigate Data Centers
Recovery Point is proud to be one of the few resilience providers in the United States to have received multiple certifications from the Uptime Institute for Tier III Constructed Facilities. With concurrent maintainability designed into all electrical and mechanical systems, our carrier neutral sites are purpose-built to mitigate risks associated with any single point of failure and can operate for extended periods without access to municipal utilities.
Prioritize Security Before A Disaster
During a hurricane, your business operations can’t be disrupted. Activating your recovery strategy will result in your critical systems and sensitive data operating outside normal production protection schemes. Be sure your provider’s security protocols and resilience infrastructure have been thoroughly vetted before any emergency. Recovery Point provides holistic protection against attacks that can lay siege to and disrupt your critical data and resilience infrastructure. Concentric, layered defenses are designed to deter against the most sophisticated attacks and provide rapid detection and containment.
Highly scalable service will support all your needs for data growth during a disaster event and beyond. A model where your provider handles 100% of your DRaaS needs allows a business to scale up or scale down as needs change – an advantage for your hurricane task force. A vendor’s resources are used “on demand” (versus your own). Overall disaster-related risks are reduced and there are less long-term investments in technology to worry about. You pay for the capacity needed when it’s needed.
Employees may be required to work remotely during a hurricane. A robust infrastructure alone does not guarantee that data and systems will be secure. Make sure your provider adheres to the latest compliance standards. Recovery Point colocation facilities are home to a broad spectrum of public and private sector clients and are all audited against key national standards for site, network and data security, including both SOC2 and PCI-DSS and others.
Hurricane season happens every year. By developing an effective plan and reinforcing your business resilience efforts, you can prepare and protect your company.
*Source: How to Prepare for Hurricane Season During a Pandemic ©2020 ALERTMEDIA