Aug 13, 2014
The importance of high-end disaster recovery capabilities has been highlighted this week after UK homes and businesses were battered by severe weather conditions.
British citizens were spared the full strength of Hurricane Bertha, but remnants of the tropical storm still managed to cause chaos across the country.
The UK Environment Agency has issued 12 flood warnings and 41 flood alerts in England and Wales at time of writing, while the Scottish Environment Protection Agency announced 12 flood alerts.
Torrential downpours on Sunday (August 10) caused a number of homes and railways to flood, and several supermarkets were closed down. Reports suggest that in some places a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours, drenching regions in the west, south and north of the UK.
Flash floods are among the many potentially catastrophic natural disasters that can have a negative effect on business functions. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimated that floods in the UK earlier this year cost small firms around £830 million.
Lower demand for goods and services, transport disruptions, property damage, IT system failures and higher rates of absenteeism are just some of the ways organizations experience productivity losses due to flooding.
While some of these impacts are unavoidable, crucial IT systems can be up and running again by implementing standby database technology as part of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Innovative real-time replication techniques ensure a binary copy of source databases can be made available at an off-site location or in the cloud. This allows businesses to seamlessly switch over to an exact replica of the original database when necessary.
The impact of UK flooding
The FSB's John Allan, commenting on flooding at the beginning of the year, said some of the country's companies were "left devastated".
"Not only have they had to cope with a lack of demand for their services, many have had to close," he explained.
It appears ex-Hurricane Bertha's impact on the nation will be less damaging, although the UK Environment Agency warned weather conditions are likely to remain cold, wet and windy until the end of the week.
However, most areas of the UK are considered at a low risk of flooding over the next few days, with a number of regions designated a very low risk.
Met Office Forecaster Emma Corrigan said: "It is expected to be a much drier day for southern parts, but we'll still see some scattered showers in the west, although these will spread eastwards as the day moves on."
"Towards the end of the week, we will see calmer, more settled conditions but temperatures will on average stay on the cooler side."
The Met Office did warn homes and businesses there is a likelihood of localized flooding and further disruptions to transport.