Disaster Recovery Planning for Sandstorms

With 17 states considered arid, semi-arid or dry subhumid, the Western U.S. is extremely vulnerable to the threat of sand and dust storms. While these storms may seem harmless, especially when compared to natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires, sandstorms often cause major problems for businesses. If you live in the Western U.S., take the following measures to prepare for sandstorms.

Prepare for Flash Floods

Residents of deserts and desert-like areas often experience heavy rainstorms with little or no warning, and sandstorms increase the likelihood of rainstorms causing flash floods. Sometimes people mistakenly think that the dryness of the desert decreases the likelihood of floods, but in reality desert sands have very low absorption rates. If there are dry beds or desert-like plains near your business, you should always be prepared for flash floods.

Back up Data

Sandstorms can also be accompanied by highly charged displays of lightning. This could interfere with your electrical systems, so back up your business-critical data to an off-site location in case of a power outage during a sandstorm.

Anticipate Stranded Employees

Sandstorms can make for treacherous driving conditions, so if you see a sandstorm on the radar, prepare for the possibility that some employees might not be able to make it to work. If your business is in an area that is prone to sandstorms, plan for employees to work in an alternate work environment. If your employees can work from home safely, prepare for them to have the necessary equipment and resources in place to perform their daily job duties.

Have a Plan

The most important aspect of disaster plans is to be aware of the risks in your region. Create a disaster plan specific to sandstorms for all employees to review so they will know what to expect when sand takes over.

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