The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is upon us, lasting through the end of November. AccuWeather predicts up to 14 tropical storms, of which seven storms could have the potential to develop to hurricane strength. The devastation from these storms is staggering; storms such as Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and Hurricane Harvey in the Southeast and Gulf regions have caused over $260 billion worth of damage between them within the past ten years.
If your business is located near the American East Coast or the Gulf of Mexico, the prospect of catastrophic damage from a tropical storm or hurricane can’t be ignored. While especially salient in states and territories in the South and Southeast, such as Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Carolinas, the effects of these storms extend much further. For instance, as far north as New York City, repairs on infrastructure are anticipated to extend into 2020 for damage sustained in 2012 from Hurricane Sandy. Just like your physical assets, your digital assets are crucial to operating a business in today’s economy, and should be safeguarded as well.
It’s important to assess risks pertinent to your local region; for instance, if your business is located near the coast, storm surges could pose a serious threat, whereas if you’re located further inland, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water could flood and pose a risk.
After assessing the risks that pertain to your business, focus on developing a plan that will protect your business from, or at least mitigate, the effects of a tropical storm or hurricane. Elements of this may include the actions your employees might take in case they are unable to contact you or one another, or which business functions will be prioritized if resources are limited after the storm. It’s important to evaluate your business’ facilities and data centers before the storm approaches, as well as to have a plan for how you will restore functionality or repair any damage after the storm has passed.
Investing in cloud infrastructure before a tropical storm or hurricane is an effective safeguard in ensuring your data is protected regardless of the effects of the storm, with the added benefit of protecting your data from other unexpected occurrences that are possible in today’s digital economy. By maintaining geographically separate copies of data, such as storing a backup in a data center several hundred miles away from your primary location, you increase the redundancy of your IT infrastructure and ensure that your business is able to resume operations swiftly. For example, for our customers located throughout the Gulf region and East coast, NewCloud Networks maintains data centers in Dallas, Atlanta, and New York.
Because of the nature of weather patterns during the Atlantic hurricane season, your business may not have time to adequately prepare for catastrophic damage from a tropical storm or hurricane, especially on short notice; it’s important to remember that loss of data or prolonged downtime can be as disastrous to your business as a major storm itself. By developing a strategy outlining the steps your business will take leading up to and following a tropical storm or hurricane, you can ensure that the amount of downtime you experience, and therefore lost revenue, is kept as low as possible. Otava’s offerings in Backup and Disaster Recovery can be part of your readiness strategy, providing you peace of mind that your data will be protected and that critical business operations will be able to continue.