In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread power outages and floods across Texas and certain parts of Louisiana. Weeks later, Hurricane Irma hit the coast, affecting Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina businesses. Now, experts are saying there are more storms to come.
This is why you need a good disaster recovery (DR) plan that has you prepared for the worst.
Pay attention to the location.
First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your offsite facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 mph (as fast as Category 5 storms). Also, it should be supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.
You should also request an upper floor installation. Or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage.
Determine recovery hierarchy.
Certain parts of your IT are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days to get your business back to running efficiently.
For example, recovering the e-commerce systems take priority over your email server. Whatever the case, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.
Use image-based backups.
Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems. It then creates a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in it. From here, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device. This allows you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.
Take advantage of the cloud.
The cloud allows you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups. This enables you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.
Back up your data frequently.
Back up your data often, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on the 15th of September and the next storm, Hurricane Jose, makes landfall on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.
Get in the habit of replicating your files at the end of each day, which should be easy if you’ve opted for image-based backups.
Test your DR plan.
After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after disaster strikes. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.
Cell towers and internet connections may be affected when the hurricane hits. Make sure your company forums are online. Also, have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.
It’s nearly impossible to experience little-to-no disruptions during calamities like Harvey or Irma. However, with the right support, you can minimize downtime.
If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company must have.