Essential steps for hurricane disaster recovery

Essential steps for hurricane disaster recovery

Imagine this: a hurricane is on the horizon, and you’re scrambling to protect your business. Don’t get caught off guard! Here’s a straightforward guide to creating a hurricane disaster recovery plan that will safeguard your company, your employees, and your valuable data.

What is a hurricane disaster recovery plan?

A hurricane disaster recovery plan serves as a roadmap for the actions your company needs to take before, during, and after a hurricane, including: 

  • Predisaster preparedness – how to minimize potential damage and ensure a smooth response, such as securing your property and creating communication plans
  • Emergency response procedures – how to ensure employee safety during the storm, including evacuation protocols and sheltering procedures
  • Business continuity and recovery – how to restore critical functions and get your business operational as quickly as possible after the hurricane
  • Long-term recovery plan – how to achieve complete business restoration, including rebuilding infrastructure and addressing financial recovery

How to create a hurricane disaster recovery plan

A comprehensive hurricane disaster recovery plan should include the following components:

Risk assessment

Conduct a thorough assessment to identify your company’s vulnerabilities in a hurricane scenario. This will help you prioritize the most critical areas for protection and guide your overall strategy.

Preventive planning

Before a hurricane strikes, taking proactive steps can significantly reduce its impact on your business. Here’s what you can do:

Back up your data

It’s important to have a robust data backup system in place, as it allows you to quickly restore vital information and minimize downtime caused by a hurricane. 

Store duplicate copies of your data backups in geographically separate data centers, ideally in locations with a low risk of hurricanes. This ensures a secure and remote copy of your information in case your local servers or computers are destroyed during a hurricane.

Alternatively, you can use cloud storage solutions, which allow employees to access data and files remotely with a stable internet connection. This enables them to work from home if your office sustains damage.

Secure your physical assets

Hurricanes often bring heavy rain and flooding. You can minimize water damage to your servers and other vital electronics by taking these steps:

  • Avoid storing servers and electronics in basements, which are prone to flooding. Opt for higher floors or designated storage areas with minimal flood risk.
  • Choose a storage room without any water pipes in the walls and ceiling to reduce the risk of leaks.
  • Install flood detectors so you get notified the moment water gets into your facility.
  • Consider using waterproof cabinets or specialized enclosures to create an additional barrier for your equipment in case of flooding.

Disaster response

The safety of your employees is paramount during a hurricane. To ensure their well-being, develop clear guidelines that address:

  • How to stay safe from strong winds and flying objects by identifying proper shelter locations within the building and instructing employees to avoid windows during the hurricane
  • How to evacuate the premises if necessary, including designated evacuation routes, exit points, and assembly areas
  • How to contact key personnel in charge of making decisions and coordinating response during a hurricane

Restoration

After the hurricane has passed, it’s time to focus on getting your business back up and running.  Identify who is responsible for each step of restoring critical systems such as data backups, power, network access, and damaged equipment. Your disaster recovery plan should establish a clear order for restoration, prioritizing systems that are essential for resuming operations.

Long-term recovery

While restoring critical systems gets your business back on its feet, a full recovery plan goes beyond that. Here’s what your long-term plan should address:

  • Rebuilding physical structures damaged by the hurricane
  • Replacing destroyed equipment and furniture
  • Relocating your business temporarily if necessary
  • Bringing your workforce back

Don’t wait until a hurricane is brewing. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you create a comprehensive hurricane disaster recovery plan and ensure your business survives any storm.

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