Are you prepared for hurricanes? Most of us prepare by stocking up on food, flashlight batteries, and making sure a generator is accessible. But there are important steps you need to take to prepare your computers and IT systems for major storms like hurricanes.
As Hurricane Florence makes its way up the Eastern coast this week, there is no better time to take steps to protect your computers, servers, and other IT equipment. At this point, Hurricane Florence is expected to be a Category 4 storm when it reaches landfall.
According to weather sources, Category 4 hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to property, humans, and animals. Severe structural damage to frame homes, apartments, and shopping centers should be expected. Category 4 hurricanes often include long-term power outages and water shortages lasting from a few weeks to a few months, so again, it’s important for any remaining residents to have a significant nonperishable food and water supply at hand."
The first thing you should consider as you prepare for hurricanes is to have a Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan. This plan should be an overall plan and strategy for disaster preparedness. Here are some things you should include in your BDR:
- What to Backup
Make sure that you include ALL important documents, files in your backup. Here is a partial list to start with: QuickBooks (or other commercial software), ERP systems, Word / Excel documents, photos, drawings, etc.
- Onsite Backup
How are your systems being backed up onsite? Onsite backups are the fastest to restore and do not rely on the internet. Are your important files regularly backed up? If not, you could lose them if your server or even just a hard drive dies as a result of power surges or flooding from a storm.
- Offsite Backup
Onsite backups are necessary, but what happens if your office floods and destroys your backup hard drives? This is why offsite/cloud backups are important when planning for disaster preparedness. Make sure all of your important data and files are backed up both offsite and onsite.
- Failover Systems
Failover systems are backup systems that can be turned on within an hour of your main system going down to prevent business interruption. These are important for normal business operations, but especially when a storm is expected. Having a backup server or other system in place can save you valuable time and keep your business up and running even when disaster hits.
- Failover/Backup Monitoring
Having failover systems and backups are great, but if they are not monitored or maintained, they may not be ready when you need them in a crisis. Make sure your data backups and backup systems are regularly checked and monitored so that they are good to go when you need them.
- Temporary Office Locations
If your business needs another place to operate during a storm, make sure you include that in your plan.
As we plan for hurricanes, don't just stock up on food and water. Make sure your IT systems are prepared as well. If you have any questions about disaster preparedness, feel free to call us at 478-289-0079.