Having operated in Florida for almost 20 years, we have experienced a few hurricanes. Every year businesses in the SE and Gulf Coast face major weather events, most notably hurricanes. Flooding and tornados fill in the blanks between hurricanes just to keep everyone on their toes. Improving business continuity is something a business should consider every day in case of a fire or theft. The easiest step a business can take is move to the cloud. Office 365 is one cloud solution that eliminates the need for local hardware, backup solutions, and ongoing maintenance expenses.
Practical steps you can take now to protect your business.
- Create or review the company disaster plan. This helps everyone think about all precautions.
- Check backup services to ensure they are running. If you do onsite backups, make a copy and send them home with several people. Backing up to the cloud is the safest plan.
- Test restoring a backup copy to confirm the process works.
- Move files to cloud. Put them in OneDrive or Google Drive until you can implement a more permanent solution like Microsoft SharePoint.
- Image computers and servers and store them offsite. This will facilitate a rapid recovery.
- Check backups and run current backups to be sure they are working correctly.
- Place computers and electronics in trash bags.
- Unplug electronics and cords.
- Raise items off floor
- Consider letting employees take workstations home to spread out the risk.
- Set customer and employee expectations for delays in service.
- Get billing done early to keep cash flow moving.
- Have a plan to forward phones and answer phones.
- Update your voice mail to communicate with customers.
- Moves vehicles to high ground to prevent flooding.
- Park vehicles in an area protected from the wind.
- Park vehicles close to each other so only outside vehicles are damaged.
- Park small vehicles between large vehicles to protect smaller lighter vehicles.
- Close interior doors to reduce damage if a window breaks.
- Board windows.
- Sandbag doors.
- Clean gutters and remove debris on roof.
- Clear drainage ditches to get water away from home.
- Remove dead or weak trees and limbs.
- Bring in small items that can fly in wind.
- Leave the area early and come back ready.