[INFOGRAPHIC] What Happens to Your Business When the Power Is Out?

You may not realize how severe blackouts are, because they don't cause as much damage as hurricanes or tornadoes. But while blackouts may not cause physical damage, they may still hurt your relationship with customers. Check out this infographic for some insight into what happens when the power goes out, and read our blog post "What to Do When... The Lights Go Out" for tips on how to prepare and recover your business after a power outage.

Power outage infographic

Business Continuity Q&A: David Tedford on Community Involvement

Headshot
David Tedford, Greater Boston ACP president
Here at Rentsys, we take involvement in the business continuity community seriously. By stepping out into the playing field, so to speak, we're able to stay in tune with contingency planners' ever-evolving concerns. Getting involved with industry organizations is important. Why? Because, as with any other industry, BC planners need a network of peers with whom they can exchange knowledge and ideas.

We recently sat down with the newly elected president of the Greater Boston chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP), a nonprofit trade organization with 42 chapters across the U.S., to discuss his involvement with his local chapter. (David, by the way, just happens to be one of our account executives!)

Q: What is your background in the BC/DR industry?
A: I've been in the industry for 25 years in various capacities. I've done everything from developing software to selling hardware, software and business continuity services.

Q: How did you get involved with the Greater Boston ACP chapter?
A: I sought out BC/DR organizations back in 2005 when I had a desire to network with fellow professionals and grow my BC/DR knowledge.

Q: What contributions have you made to your chapter that ultimately led to your being elected the chapter president?
A: As a founding member of the chapter back in January 2006, I've been a longtime supporter of the chapter. I previously held the program director position and helped the chapter grow tremendously back in the 2007 and 2008 time frame, when we received the Eagle Award for the growth we achieved during that time.

This past year, in addition to becoming president, I was surprised when the outgoing president, Michelle Light, also presented me with the MVP Award for 2013. It's been a busy year!

Q: What are your goals as the new chapter president?
A: I'd like to provide value to our members by offering an education program that makes them want to attend month after month.

Q: What do you consider the greatest contingency planning challenge today?
A: Far too many companies are trying to do more with less. The budgets continue to shrink, yet the threats continue to increase. As a profession, we need to continue to educate our peers within each enterprise about these ongoing threats, so as a whole we can get buy-in from executive management to deploy the latest and greatest BC/DR solutions.

Q: Why is it important for contingency planners to get involved with the BC/DR community?
A: Someone must drive the bus! We need people to lead and educate those that are not as well-versed in the types of threats we face or the solutions to those threats. I guess getting involved is my way to pay it forward.

The Importance of Off-Site Backups for Financial Institutions

Cloud Storage

For financial institutions, business continuity planning involves more than making sure there are enough desks and computers for all of your employees; it also involves developing a process of getting your company's data on those computers so your employees can get back to work.

It's important that your business can continue to serve clients, provide uninterrupted service and generally reassure clients and employees alike. Finding an off-site backup provider should be just as high a priority for managers as finding contracted recovery sites or mobile recovery centers for staff to work out of after a disruption. Keep in mind the following when selecting a backup provider.

On-Site vs. Off-Site Backups


Having an on-site backup of your data allows you to quickly access critical files after a computer crash or a hard drive failure, but if your office goes up in smoke, your backups will be caught in the flames. A more complete backup solution includes an automatic off-site backup component where your data is uploaded to a secure drive in the cloud. Regular off-site cloud backups keep your data safe from local disasters, helping you maintain data continuity even if your physical building gets destroyed.

Security


Your company's data is important, and industrial espionage is a real concern to many executives. Find a vendor that offers end-to-end encryption and physical security at the data center where your information is stored. Check that the vendor is compliant with the stringent standards of the financial industry, including those from the FFIEC, FDIC, NCUA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Testing


Some industries, especially in the financial field, must comply with strict disaster recovery guidelines that require regular testing, including the recovery of backup data. Your cloud backup provider needs to have a structured approach to testing that meets compliance requirements and minimizes staff disruptions. Even if your industry doesn't have testing requirements, we encourage all our clients to test before a real disaster hits, because it helps them identify gaps in their plans.


Keeping a daily or weekly backup of your company's important data off-site might sound like a hassle, but it only takes one instance of data loss to sink your business. Don't wait until after a disaster to start worrying about your company's data. Start looking for a data backup solution that fits your needs now.

What to Do When...There Is Too Much Snow

On December 12, 2010, the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN collapsed, forcing the Minnesota Vikings to relocate their game to Detroit. The cause of the inflatable Teflon roof's collapse? A hefty helping of snow. Snow carries a lot of weight that can weaken your roof's structure and leave you vulnerable to collapse. Below we have listed some things you can do to prevent your roof from caving in.

    snow drift on roof
  • Inspect your roof. Most roofs are built to support the weight of 2 feet of packed snow. Unless your roof is accessible from the ground, clearing snow can be very dangerous. So if think you that you have accumulated more than 2 feet, call a professional to remove the snow.
  • Check your doors and windows for warning signs. If your doors pop open or stick your roof is carrying enough weight to alter the frame. Similarly, if your windows are hard to open, snow may be trying to make its way indoors.
  • Look for leaks and cracks. Cracks or severe leaks in your ceiling are obvious warning signs of a roof collapse.
  • Use your ears. If you hear creaking, cracking or popping sounds, evacuate your building as soon as possible.
Read more about how to prevent snow from weighing down your roof here.