Hurricane Dorian: How to Prepare Your Business

Hurricane Dorian is on a path for Florida, projected to begin its impact Tuesday. Currently a Category 3 (out of 5) hurricane, Dorian is expected to strengthen into a 

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Category 4 before it makes landfall in Florida. Like all extreme weather, Dorian should be taken seriously as its intensity and path could change without warning. It’s not a time to panic, but rather to solidify a plan.  

As a Florida organization, and one that specializes in Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), we know how scary these natural disasters are, so we put together a list to help for now, and some guidance for the future.

Now:

  1. Secure Your Data Offsite: Properly store your data in an offsite location that is not in the path of the hurricane, ideally in a hurricane rated structure (equipped with fire suppression systems, environmental controls, raised flooring, biometric scanning, backup power supplies, and 24/7 surveillance).
  2. Safeguard Your Equipment: If your area is prone to flooding, put all computers on top of desks or other high and dry locations, away from windows. Additionally, take the time to completely power down all non-essential servers and computers before you leave your office.
  3. Have Adequate Backups: Ensure that all data is being properly backed up. If your primary location receives massive damage, you’ll need to retrieve your data from the backups.
  4. Update Your Emergency Contact List: Acquire an updated emergency contact for each employee.
  5. Have a Communication Plan: Should the primary source of communication be down, have an alternate communication plan such as Microsoft Teams, or Zello, a free walkie talkie app.
  6. Secure Your Facility: Secure your building with storm shutters and mitigate flood risk with sandbags. Wind-borne debris (like tree branches and lawn furniture) should be paid special attention as they can cause a lot of damage to buildings.  
  7. Prepare Your Employees: Have a plan in place and review it with employees. Make sure they know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it; before, during and after the hurricane.
  8. Manage Expectations for Critical Personnel: Make sure that critical personnel know they are designated critical, and what that means to the business. (For example: if they need to weather the storm in the office to keep systems live, or if they must come is as soon as the storm passes for damage assessment.) Whatever critical means to your business.
  9. Write Down Important Names and Numbers: Don’t rely solely on your cell phone or memory. When a disaster strikes, anything can happen, and memories aren’t perfect.
  10. No Cell Phone Data or Wifi is Needed to Call 911: You can make an emergency call from any cell phone, whether it is an active phone or not.

After the storm passes:

If you were/are lacking in any of the above areas, ensure you have a solid plan in place for the next situation; weather or otherwise. Natural disasters, hackers, and employee mistakes are data destroyers, and unavoidable; but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. With a reputable DRaaS provider you can take a load off and know that when a disaster does happen, they have you covered. To learn more about selecting a provider (and why you need one), download our eBook: DRaaS: Everything You Need To Know.

Most importantly, stay safe and be smart! We explained how to prepare your business for this hurricane, but more importantly, prepare your family, friends and neighbors. As a reminder, if you have a generator, make sure it has enough fuel to last several days, and ALWAYS keep your it outside. Click here for a Family Emergency Plan from FEMA.

DSM has you in our thoughts. Should you need assistance before, during, or after Hurricane Dorian passes, please reach out. We’ll have staff waiting to get you back on your feet.

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