With the Atlantic Hurricane Season in full swing, protecting your clients from downtime and the associated costs has become more difficult for MSPs. Depending on your client’s business type and location, the risks can vary widely. Hurricanes and tropical storms wreak havoc through a combination of high winds and heavy rain.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can impact businesses in three primary ways:
- Direct damage to an operating facility due to high winds, flooding, and objects such as tree limbs and debris that become high-speed projectiles capable of damaging windows, roofs and other structural elements.
- Extended power outages, road closures, and other lasting damages can put a business facility out of commission for a week or more.
- The regional impact can affect customers, suppliers, and business partners—as well as the homes of employees.
Businesses usually have significant warning of an approaching storm. However, because storm paths are notoriously difficult to predict, these warnings can often be false alarms. Some businesses, therefore, fail to respond to storm warnings due to the “Cry Wolf” syndrome. All businesses, especially those operating in hurricane-prone areas, should be prepared for anything.
Preparation should include:
- Continuous off-site backup of data, applications, and server images.
- The ability to restore IT operations in the cloud and at a site sufficiently further inland from the coast to be unaffected by the storm. This restoration may require evacuation of key IT personnel out of the storm so that they can continue to work remotely from their laptops even if the area’s mobile data services are interrupted.
- Website posting that alerts customers and partners about storm preparations—along with frequent post-storm updates that allow the visitor to track the progress of any necessary recovery.
In the event of a regional disaster, businesses should be prepared to help their nearby customers and partners get through the crisis.
Planning should include:
- Communications in advance with local/regional customers and suppliers who may also be impacted by the storm. This communication should include alternative mobile contact numbers.
- Pre-determined policies regarding order turnaround times, invoice processing, scheduled service visits, and other activities likely to be affected by the storm.
- Direct servicing of customers by supply-chain partners, where appropriate and feasible.
Bonus: To learn more about various types of natural disasters and what they can mean for your business, download The Natural Disaster Survival Guide for Businesses. In this eBook, you’ll learn about various natural disasters and risk levels, the potential impact, how disaster recovery planning can keep your business running, and more. Download it today!