5 crucial steps to prepare your business for natural disasters

5 crucial steps to prepare your business for natural disasters

Aug 22, 2014


Preparing a recovery plan for natural disasters is an important measure for many US businesses, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season.

Stretching from June 1 until November 30 this year, the six-month period is typically when tropical cyclones are most active in the Atlantic basin.

Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, which occurred in 2005 and 2012 respectively, were among the most devastating weather phenomenon of their kind in recent US history, costing many billions of dollars of damage.

Therefore, implementing a sophisticated disaster recovery plan is crucial for maintaining business operations should extreme weather affect your local area.

Here are five steps to help your organization get back to full operational capacity as quickly as possible:

1. Obtain adequate insurance

Natural disasters can cause considerable damage to your business property and any equipment or assets contained within.

You will need an insurance policy that provides full coverage in these circumstances. This may include business interruption insurance, which will protect you for periods where income is lost due to an unforeseen event.

2. Communicate plans to employees

While most businesses will have a disaster recovery plan in place, it is important to make sure all employees are aware of their responsibilities when incidents occur.

Review work-from-home policies in case the office becomes inaccessible and reiterate whose job it will be to determine when disaster recovery processes should begin.

3. Back up data and protect databases

Without access to important business data, many organizations are unable to carry out a range of critical day-to-day tasks. Frequently backing up company information to an off-site or cloud location is therefore a popular option.

Similarly, central databases are responsible for enabling a number of core business processes to operate smoothly. This is why standby databases are ideal for firms that want minimal downtime should disaster strike.

When a source database fails, companies can switch over to an exact replica standby in minutes for cost-effective and efficient disaster recovery capabilities.

4.  Consider alternative energy supplies

While your building may not be affected directly by a natural disaster, there is a chance that regional energy infrastructure could be damaged, resulting in a loss of power.

Investing in a back-up generator or other alternative energy sources can help, although you must remember to regularly test these systems to ensure they work.

You may also want to have sufficient fuel on the premises in case energy blackouts become frequent or long running.

5. Testing

Even the best disaster recovery plans can go awry if incidents cause people to panic or forget their responsibilities. However, frequent testing can help prevent such problems.

A regular practice run should iron out any of the kinks and allow you to identify areas of the plan that may need improvement or clarification.

Read more about why you should be thinking about DR and download a helpful Disaster Recovery checklist on the Dbvisit blog.

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