Limit Downtime This Hurricane Season

Floods from hurricane destroy roads and office buildingsWith hurricane season now in effect, several large storms are already causing major flooding in Houston, TX. An estimated $1.3 billion in damages is slowing or temporarily halting business operations for many companies in the area.

However, instead of suspending essential business activities, one company is making the most of the recent floods. Houston-based independent electricity provider AP Gas & Electric (APG&E) used the surge of downpours as an opportunity to test its preparedness for the more considerable storms that are likely to hit in the coming months. By sticking to its predetermined business continuity plan (BCP), APG&E is able to continue providing electricity to its customers, saving the company time and money that would have been lost had it closed down.

If your business is on the coast, follow APG&E’s lead and make sure you’re prepared to minimize downtime in the event of flooding, storm surges, extreme winds and even subsequent tornadoes this hurricane season. Here are a few suggestions to help you start your BCP.

Create a Plan That Addresses the Entire Business

There’s a common misconception that business continuity planning only affects the IT department. In fact, whether you create a business continuity plan (BCP) internally or choose to outsource it, your BCP should involve plans for getting critical processes and departments up and running again.

If you already have a BCP in place, third-party consultants can provide an objective view of your business and make suggestions for your BCP so that your plan is effective when interruptions occur.

Prepare Alternate Workspaces

Whether there’s physical destruction to your building, or employees and customers are unable to travel, damages from disasters can hinder your ability to maintain normal business activities in your primary office space. If you need to relocate business operations, make sure you have access to an alternate workspace as soon as possible.

Fully equipped alternate workspaces like Mobile Recovery Centers (MRCs) can be made available within as little as 24-48 hours of a disaster declaration, while fixed-site Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) can be made available within as little as four hours of a declaration. Once the alternate location is set up, your company can begin to successfully restore business operations.

Back up and Recover Your Data

Having access to your data and applications is imperative when disaster strikes. A fully managed and monitored cloud data recovery service will protect your IT infrastructure. With secure data vaulting and recovery, your data will be recoverable on- or off-site within your recovery time objectives.

Hurricane season is upon us, so make sure you take the necessary steps to prepare your business before it’s too late. To see how another business remained operational during hurricane season, check out this post.

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