Although it is impossible to predict if, when and where a hurricane may make landfall, it is critical that businesses within these high-risk areas on the Eastern and Gulf coasts to prepare as if a storm will do so at any given time. With that being said, there are steps that you can take in I.T. now to prepare ahead of time and minimize the damage. These steps should be part of your company’s overall disaster and business continuity plan. The following tips can be easily modified and used for businesses vulnerable to any type of disaster (earthquake, tornado, etc.)
The easiest way to ensure you can be back up and running quickly in the event of a disaster, having up-to-date images of servers and workstations can make a difference of days in how fast you can be back up and running. Storing images onsite, offsite, and in the cloud so that they can be accessed quickly and easily is the best way to ensure the recovery process can start instantly following a storm or other disaster. Remember to have a plan to keep these images current, so restoring your infrastructure will be seamless to users’ workflow. Backup Solutions providers such as Datto use local devices combined with offsite cloud storage to offer a level of redundancy that give you peace of mind and get you back up and running virtually, in just seconds. Datto solutions ensure that your data is restored quickly, with little to no downtime or interruption to your business.
As a file backup solution, services such as Egnyte HybridCloud deliver excellent, secure and reliable storage for disaster recovery (in the event of data breach, data loss, cyber intrusion), and data protection ( e.g. full data encryption during transmission and rest, real time continuous backup with versioning, redundant online and local storage) without the need for additional hardware, software, maintenance, or tape backup units. These types of cloud services offer simple, reliable continuous file backup with multiple options to meet every business need.
Virtualization can recover images and backups to any hardware available in the event that you experience physical hardware damage. Eliminating the need to manually and slowly rebuild your servers with new hardware drivers, conflicting software, etc., will save you days in getting back up and running. Restoring a virtual image is as easy as mapping the image and clicking your mouse.
Physical and Virtual Solutions
Make sure you are using a backup and recovery solution uses both physical and virtual backups and include recovery options for both. This will ensure you can be up and running after disaster strikes as fast as possible, regardless of what type of damage you sustain.
Create and Follow Disaster Recovery Plan
Your company’s disaster recovery plan (or business continuity plan) should be considered one of the most important internal documents your company produces. This plan should serve as your roadmap, guidance, and procedure in the event of a serious crisis, such as a hurricane, or any other disaster that could cause a halt or slowdown to the production of your company. This plan should be designed to ensure the most rapid recovery in workflow possible.
If there is a high probability of an event occurring, such as a hurricane, have a simple checklist ready to follow, such as the example below:
- Identify management team to initiate disaster recovery plan should it be needed;
- Update all critical internal and external address books, making sure team leaders have home addresses, home telephone numbers, cellular phones, and email addresses of all employees;
- Identify and broadcast a method of contact for employees to monitor and receive updates in the event of a disaster (cell phone, voice mail, etc.);
- Define a procedure to account for employees;
- Provide employees with training on all procedures, if appropriate (e.g., hurricane, fire, evacuation);
- Identify a crisis management location outside of the anticipated impact locations.
Preliminary Damage Inventory
- Initiate business continuity plan;
- Conduct a preliminary damage inventory, if possible;
- Provide the crisis management team with as detailed a report as necessary;
- Initiate crisis management plan and notify employees of next steps.
- Determine if the severity of the disaster requires implementation of the data recovery plan;
- Determine which servers/computers need to be recovered, including which are the most critical to be restored first.
Implement Recovery Plan
- Notify business and IT personnel responsible for recovery;
- Make sure recovery team is on the same page regarding priorities and procedures and initiate recovery.
Implement Client Support Procedures
- As directed by the crisis management team, provide recovery support to all affected clients and internal business departments.
Track Recovery Process
- Conduct periodic meetings / conference calls with recovery teams to track progress and discuss unforeseen problems;
- Adjust plan accordingly.
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