Yearly Business Continuity Preparations
Protecting your business from downtime is crucial to your bottom line especially if your business is located in the Gulf South. A few years of "peacetime" may cause businesses to become complacent with their disaster preparations. Here are some tips to protect your investments and prevent or minimize downtime.
Make sure you have backups of your critical services offsite whether in an out-of-region cloud service or at minimum, an external drive stored offsite.
Here are some examples:
- Production Software & Data
- Accounting & Payroll
- Contacts and CRM
- HR Records
Review your operations to determine what is critical to running your business while your facility is down for an extended period of 7-21 days.
Here are some examples:
- Running Payroll for your employees?
- How will clients’ contact you for services & products. Do you have emergency contact information?
- How will you provide those services & products?
- How will you reach out to clients?
- How will you reach out to your employees?
- How will you process accounts receivables and accounts payables if necessary?
- What do you have to do to forward calls to an alternate number?
Contact your insurance representative to see what is covered and how quickly they will process claims:
- Loss of Revenue
- Payroll Assistance
- Property Damage
- Will they assist in temporary relocation?
- How long does it take to process claims?
- What do they need to process claims? Have as much of this information prepared beforehand
2-3 DAYS BEFORE HURRICANE LANDFALL
- Verify backups are running properly.
- Test the restoration of backups.
- Double check that all of your critical data is being backed up.
- Make sure that cloud backups are up-to-date.
- Set up lines of communication with your employees
- Make sure your clients have ways to contact you
Make sure you have your insurance information on hand.
Create an inventory of all computer and network equipment. Pictures of model numbers and serial numbers are helpful.
24-36 DAYS BEFORE HURRICANE LANDFALL
- Double check backups
- Make sure you have copies of backups offsite or in the cloud
Power down and unplug all electronics.
Pick up all equipment off the floors and on desks in case of flood
Cover equipment and critical items with plastic sheets. *Ensure that everything is off before doing so.
Communicate with employees about procedures after the storm.
Forward all calls to an alternate number, answering service or voicemail system that you can access remotely.
After checking to make sure you and your employee's families and homes are taken care of.
Check for water damage. Do not turn on power if any electrical equipment has been wet or is underwater.
Check for power. Make sure that you have stable power. Constant flicker without healthy UPS can further damage your equipment
If the facility is destroyed, out of power or internet for an extended amount of time:
- Get your communications with clients online (phones, emails, etc.).
- Work with your IT team in getting your servers, workstations and data access online at your remote location.