“Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 15-21, 2016) is your time to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Learn what you need to consider in securing your business against hurricanes and other natural disasters.” NOAA and NWS
On August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans with an unexpected fury and did massive damage to the city that is still, in some cases, rebuilding eleven years later. Like any massive disaster in the past 30 years, the fallout from Katrina caused people and businesses to reevaluate their emergency preparedness for potential future threats.
During the crisis and for a little over two weeks afterward a small, stalwart group of people at an internet services provider called Directnic.com live-blogged the events that occurred during the hurricane and its aftermath from the 10th and 11th floors of an office building at 650 Poydras Avenue in New Orleans.
Using a diesel generator and ingenuity, they kept their data center, shared by three tech companies, hosting 780,000 domains, storing critical backup records for business owners throughout the Gulf region, up and running. With the power out and other communications networks down throughout the city, the data center became the conduit for the National Guard and one of the most important points of communication with the rest of the world.
Less than a month later, Rita tore through Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas causing $10 billion in damage. In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit much of the same region generating $25 billion of damage. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy did $75 billion dollars’ worth of destruction throughout the Caribbean, the United States and Eastern Canada—closing the New York Stock Exchange for two days.
Preparation is the Key to Survival
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, an estimated 25% of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster. Yet, despite the awareness of these events, FEMA reported in April of 2015 that “nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year.”
“It only takes one storm to change your life, community and in some cases, your business. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms. The National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issue watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.
Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 15-21, 2016) is your time to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Learn what you need to consider in securing your business against hurricanes and other natural disasters.”
It’s also an excellent time to make sure your company’s Disaster Recovery plans are in place, and that you’ve prepared your IT systems, and the team of people that support them, should a natural disaster impact your business-critical operations.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
Few businesses have the wherewithal to invest in multiple self-owned data centers, equipped with back-up power supplies, redundant bandwidth and fail-over services (just to name a few of the essentials). Those that do, also usually have internal IT architects, system administrators and operations personnel devoted (at least in part) to the task of disaster recovery.
The rest of us must figure out a solution that gives us that kind of security, without that level of investment. Fortunately, there are vendors and service providers that can provide secure data storage solutions, data backup, and even Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) from within enterprise-class data center facilities to accomplish this important goal.
Hurricane season is right around the corner. Time to make or update your DR plan and contact your service provider to ensure you have the right resources and plan in place.
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