What to Do When… All Hail Breaks Loose

According to Punxsutawney Phil, spring is right around the corner. Unfortunately, spring’s arrival signals the beginning of hail season for most of the United States. Since hailstorms are usually an afternoon or evening occurrence, there’s a good chance that you’ll be at work when a hailstorm occurs. Each year, hail causes approximately $1 billion in damage, so it’s important that your disaster recovery plan account for the possibility of hail damage.

Below are some tips to keep in mind should hail start to fall during the workday:

  • Stay inside until the hail stops.
  • Stay away from windows or skylights, especially those being struck by hail.
  • Avoid using phones and electrical appliances to avoid the danger of electrocution from the lightning that generally accompanies hail.
  • Account for all employees and building occupants.
  • Have your disaster recovery provider’s contact information nearby in case you need to make a disaster declaration.

For more hail safety tips, visit safeamerica.org and disastersafety.org.

Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail

Did you know that only about half of new businesses survive five years or more? With that being said, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest fears business owners face is failure. In fact, according to a recent survey, 32 percent of businesses are concerned about their disaster recovery plans failing. Are you afraid that one day you’ll have to permanently close your business’s doors? You probably should be if you don’t have an adequate disaster recovery plan in place.

Disaster recovery planning committees can help conquer the fear of the unknown, but sometimes fail to go the distance when it comes to assessing risk. To help you get started, we’ve listed some major aspects of disaster scenarios DR planners forget to include and the solutions you can implement so you don’t have to live in fear of failure.

They Neglect to Define “Disaster”

A tornado or fire is an obvious disaster to plan for. But a burst pipe or lengthy power outage could just as easily spell disaster for your business. When incorporating a DR vendor into your plan, make sure they give you the flexibility to define a disaster and the option to declare some or all of your recovery solutions. There should also be documentation as to who has the authority to make such a declaration.

They Don’t Consider Their Equipment Needs

Many business owners focus their disaster recovery efforts on backing up data. While that is important, so are the computers, phones and fax machines that will help you access critical data and meet the needs of your customers. Include provisions for acquiring replacement technology in your recovery plan. Make these arrangements in advance to prevent a situation where demand exceeds supply.

They Forget the Personal Needs of Employees

A disaster doesn’t just affect your business. It also affects your employees. During a major disaster, employees may have to be relocated out of the city or state. Your recovery plan should include financial considerations for relocation of employees and their families.

They Rely Too Much on Technology

There’s always a chance that automated systems will not be available during a disaster. You should consider what processes and tools your business currently uses and adapt them for manual use in your data recovery plan.

They Forget to Test

Though having a DR plan in place is a crucial element of recovery, having a testing schedule in place is just as important. Plans and procedures should be tested at least once a year, and documented procedures should be checked for updates or changes with each test.

Your business doesn’t have to join the 32 percent of businesses that are afraid that their plans will fail. Take advantage of these tips and plan for success. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Super Bowl Blackout Proves Testing Is a Must

Sometimes your business experiences interruptions that are beyond your control. Take the Super Bowl XLVII power outage. It ended up delaying the big game for over 30 minutes while more than 100 million fans were watching. Needless to say, when the lights went out, it was not only untimely but incredibly embarrassing for the New Orleans Superdome.

Disasters happen to the best of businesses, which is why it's important to have a backup plan in place. So consider your business's worst case scenarios and plan for them.

Start by checking out our Disaster Recovery Testing Checklist.

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