3 years since Sandy: preparing businesses for natural disaster

by | Oct 29, 2015 | Business Continuity

What was learned from Superstorm Sandy: how should we be preparing businesses for natural disaster?

Today marks the third anniversary of when Sandy wreaked havoc on the northeast. The storm that flooded towns and  forever changed our shoreline wasn’t even a hurricane. Imagine what would happen to the NY metro area if a category 5 storm was ever to cross our path? Let’s just say we would be under water, signally SOS — literally. That said, we must learn from our past and while we hope for the best, we must plan for the worst.

It has been three years– so how exactly should we be preparing businesses for natural disaster?  We understand  nobody wants to think lightening will strike twice.  And, on top of that, planning for an unknown disaster can be daunting. That said, here are six easy steps to preparing businesses for natural disaster:

Step 1: Establish the Disaster Recovery Team

Make it a diverse group of individuals from the company. For example, the team should include management, representatives from different departments as well as IT .

Step 2: Create a DR Call “Tree”

Have contact information for each member of the Disaster Recovery Team: mobile and home phone numbers, address information and email must be included–social media contact information such as Facebook and Twitter addresses can be added to further aid the ease of communication during a crisis.

Step 3: Name Off-Site Facilities for Recovery Efforts

If there is a disaster, your office may not be accessible. Therefore, you must establish alternative plans for employees. This could include a anything from a bunker to a warehouse off-site of your main facility. In addition, a transportation plan for key staff to get to and from these satellite facilities needs to be established. And, of course, these facilities must be able to access company networks and data remotely.

Step 4: Communicate with Outside Entities

It is imperative to communicate with authorities, stakeholders, board members, vendors, and international or remote employees. Be sure to have communication methods other than phones or email–it should be noted that social media is quickly gaining popularity as a way to communicate when disaster strikes.

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Step 5: Ensure Data Backup & Recovery

Your data needs to be backed up and ready at all times. Should there be a disaster, a quick recovery of data and servers can keep your business up and running. Be sure to have an effective backup and recovery plan designed by an IT company who specializes in business continuity.

Steps 6: Practice, Adapt, Adjust

As your business changes, you must adapt your disaster recovery plan to follow suit. Practice scenarios with staff regularly and continue to train employees on their responsibilities during and after an emergency.

We were directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy, yet we were able to stay up and running in the aftermath.  We are in the business of business continuity and love preparing businesses for natural disaster — human error, you name it. Let us know if you would like to talk and establishing a business continuity plan for your business.

Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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