4 Ways to Support Your Clients & Community in the Face of Disaster

As an MSP you are a trusted resource throughout the year, but during hurricane season in North America and when other natural disasters strike around the world, your role becomes far more critical. In addition to securing your own home and family, your clients will look to you to get their businesses up and running, and your community may search for your expertise in their relief and recovery efforts.

Zac Shannon, Senior Director of Product Support, Datto
Author: Zac Shannon, senior director of product support, Datto

We’re proud of the role our partners play during these trying times and the efforts they make to secure small businesses that play a vital role in our nation’s economy. Below are four ways you can become a unique and valuable resource when natural disasters arise.

1. Education: Ensure your clients have a full understanding of the impact natural disasters can have on their IT infrastructure and how that would affect their customers. Education is a great way to further your relationship with clients. You can provide training via one on one meetings or via events you host throughout the year. A few benefits of hosting events include: efficiently reaching a larger audience with one formal presentation and facilitating networking for the small businesses in your area. You might even invite your clients to speak about their experiences and thoughts on the topic of disasters during an event. Tip: Don’t use scare tactics; provide facts and resources.

2. Preparation & Technical Continuity: This is where your technology, expertise, and business management comes into play.

  • Clearly define policies regarding order turnaround times, invoice processing, scheduled service visits, and other activities likely to be affected by a disaster.
  • Provide continuous off-site backup of data, applications, and server images using a continuity solution with inverse chain technology, advanced backup verification, bare-metal restore, and rapid rollback capabilities.
  • Ensure you can restore IT operations in the cloud and/or at a site sufficiently further away from where a potential disaster will hit. Geo-redundant storage is imperative to ensuring security in the wake of a disaster.

3. Communication: If an emergency occurs, your clients will look to you for advice and information. You will also need to be in contact with your vendors or providers in the time of a disaster.

  • Provide regular blogs or website updates with information about storm preparations and post-storm updates so that anyone you serve can better understand and follow the recovery process.
  • Have internal communications in place for keeping employees updated on resource availability, recovery status, etc.
  • If bandwidth allows, reach out to your clients individually via email or phone to check-in and provide reassurance that their data and their business will be secure.

4. Community Support: This part of the equation will vary for each MSP depending on the number of employees you have, the number of client’s you are supporting, and the events at hand. However, if you can do so, offer your expertise to local shelters and first responders who might need IT support for their security, recovery, and restoration efforts. These actions will deepen your relationship with your community, and you’ll never regret having helped someone in these instances.

While we all hope to avoid natural disasters and their impact, we know that being prepared is a crucial way to ensure security. Utilize these four tactics to keep your business, your clients, and your community secure in the face of a natural disaster. Check out our whitepaper, The Natural Disaster Survival Guide for Businesses, for a deeper dive on protecting your clients and their data.

Zac Shannon is senior director of product support at Datto. Read more Datto guest blogs here.