How to Prepare Your IT Department for a Hurricane

How to Prepare Your IT Department for a Hurricane

On average, a hurricane hits Southern Texas every three years. Although that may not seem often enough to be worried about, the normal life expectancy of a business is estimated to be 10 years, leaving your Texas business likely facing at least three hurricanes in its lifetime—and hopefully more as your business lives on!  

Hurricanes are, obviously, extremely dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to homes and businesses. Each year’s average hurricane season has a 52% chance of a major hurricane hitting; for 2020, the chances have increased to 69%, and four significant hurricanes are predicted.

You cannot control if a hurricane will hit your business, but you can control whether your business is prepared for it. So, what can you do to prepare your IT department for a hurricane?

How To Prepare For A Hurricane

Start by Assessing

Assess what your business needs to continue in the face of disaster. What financial losses might your business suffer if there were a hurricane, due to property damage, downtime, and other factors? Once you assess these things, you can start planning what you would need to keep your business running in the aftermath of such a storm.

Think About Your Employees

Your people are one of your most significant assets, so you need to ensure that you have plans in place to protect them. You should have an emergency chain of communication set up to check in on your employees and learn whether they were affected after a hurricane, and you should also make sure the office space(s) where they work is up to code.

Create an Inventory and Backups

From your networks and data to your supplies and hardware, you need to know exactly what your business has in terms of IT equipment and assets. A hurricane could cause damage from flooding or structural damage to your building that threatens your equipment, and it can also include setbacks like power outages and gas shortages. The best way to protect your assets against physical damage is first, to have secure, off-site backups of your data, and second, to insure our equipment.

Reinforce Your Premises

If you have more than one location, you need to ensure that they are all prepared against the weather’s onslaught. Although there may not be much you can do in the face of a major hurricane, ensuring that your building is physically sound is a vital step in weathering most hurricanes.

The Importance of a Business Continuity Plan

Technological resources are often the hardest hit when it comes to large-scale business disasters. IT recovery strategies need to be developed for your data and your IT systems. But with the right business continuity plan in place, your business can recover quickly after a disaster.

Such a plan will communicate the role of each team member in the event of a disaster, leading to less confusion and more action being taken more quickly. A few areas of impact that you should consider when creating your business continuity plan include:

  • The losses that you will incur during the business lows. Times will be challenging after a hurricane while you get your business back on your feet. You should create a budget plan accounting for financial losses while your business recovers.
  • How you will enable your business to move forward. With the switch to remote work due to the pandemic, there are more remote resources available than ever. Consider what specific solutions you could prepare now in order to help your business proceed quickly after a hurricane, even if your employees are unable to return to a physical office immediately.
  • How you will ensure protection for your data. Backup solutions to your servers going down need to be detailed in business continuity plans after a hurricane. You need to be able to recover lost data while you get your business back on track. Experts recommend using cloud solutions and off-site backup servers to house a copy of all essential information.

Preparing Your Employees

It’s not enough to create a plan and then leave it collecting dust. You need to ensure that every employee knows what to do and how to act when the time comes, whether the disaster you face is a hurricane, fire, or yes, even a pandemic.

Make sure all applicable parts of your plan are communicated and accessible to all members of your organization.

As you take these precautions, you can have increased confidence in your business’s ability to emerge from hurricanes and other disasters stronger than before.