In the United States, June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. With everything else 2020 has given us, we hoped for a reprieve from at least one bad thing this year, however NOAA is predicting a busy season with an above-normal number of named storms. Barely a week into the season, a tropical storm (Cristobal) hit the southern US via the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and made its way as a tropical depression through the United States and into Canada. While not as overtly dangerous as full-blown hurricanes, tropical storms can bring disastrous flooding and should never be discounted.
How can hurricanes hurt my business?
The majority of damage from hurricanes and tropical storms usually comes from water/flooding, winds, and auxiliary storms that produce hail and tornadoes. If your company has a physical store or location that customers enter to purchase goods or services, flood waters and wind damage can prevent access to those locations, which will directly impact your ability to conduct business. The same goes for manufacturing and processing centers, shipping and storage facilities, etc. Many times, widespread damage can prevent customers and employees from reaching the locations, and utilities such as electricity and internet access suffer outages, resulting in closures. If flood waters are able to enter your building(s), destruction of anything it touches is certain, and this includes information technology infrastructure. Likewise, if your IT environment is inaccessible because of utility issues, your business will be at a standstill.
What can I do to prepare for hurricane season?
COVID-19 gave many companies a non-optional remote working test, which is something that should be tested for disaster preparedness. Now, we are potentially looking at fully remote workers with the threat of inaccessible physical locations or IT systems.
Practice the 3-2-1 rule.
Keep 3 copies of your data (production, backup, and offsite) on 2 different types of media (production and backup), with 1 copy being sent offsite.
Determine a separate location to house applications and data
Generally, a geographically disparate location of 250 miles or more is recommended. If your secondary/DR location is across town, it may not be a viable solution in the face of hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophes.
Put together a disaster recovery plan and test it. It is important to have an incredibly detailed plan in place—and to update it frequently—that outlines and defines necessary actions to take in the event of a disaster, then test it on a regular basis.
Isn’t there an easy button?
Global Data Vault specializes in helping businesses continue to run in the event of any issues, be it file restores from an archive, recoveries from malware and ransomware, or full-blown disaster recovery enablement. One benefit we have with hurricanes over tornadoes or earthquakes is that we can see them coming and usually have a fair amount of warning before they hit. Global Data Vault can assist with moving your workloads out of harm’s way ahead of the storms, or we can help your company return to operations if unexpected outages occur. As always it is best to have a plan before a disaster occurs.