Disaster Preparedness: How To Disaster-Proof Your Business

With hurricanes like Matthew breaking records and indicators showing that these types of disastrous weather-related events are only going to escalate in size as time goes on. As such, organizations from large to small are looking at how to disaster-proof their businesses and minimize possible losses in the future. Disaster preparedness is no joke, and risk can be found everywhere nowadays, from natural disasters to man made occurrences and even malicious attacks. Here’s how to thwart them all and get a leg up on these obstacles before they even materialize.

Review Current Preparedness

Want some interesting statistics? This post by IT On Command offers up just a couple, but the most shocking? 71% of current businesses don’t have a disaster preparedness plan in place. Couple that with the statistic that more than one in four businesses will experience a significant crisis in any given year, and it seems absurd that any properly functioning business would operate without some sort of readiness plan or prior preparedness. If you have an IT team, make sure they’re looking at how quickly they can get everything back online and functioning properly in the event a major outage.

Also, make sure that you’re looking at your insurance policies beforehand so that you know what’s covered and what isn’t. The worst time to be figuring that out is after a major disaster, so make sure it’s taken care of or risk losing everything.

Invest in Powerful Backups

The same post by IT On Command mentions that 40% of all small-to-medium-sized businesses will not bounce back from disaster if they they can’t get their data back online. On top of that, 93% of companies that have trouble restoring their data after a disaster are out of business within 18 months. There are plenty of service providers that offer data recovery as part of their suite, and any serious business will ask their MSP about adding it if they don’t already have it. Offsite storage of data is another advantageous perk to look into, meaning that even if your main business site is by hurricane or other disasters, your business data will be hundreds of miles away, safe and secure. Don’t get caught off guard and make sure your data is protected today.

Invest in Backup Power

While making sure that your data is protected should be top priority, making sure that you can keep your hardware on should be up there too. While the philosophy that “you can always get new hardware but can’t generate new data” is true, some businesses rely pretty heavily on actual machines for their day to day operations, and keeping them running is essentially. Especially in situations like outages, where no disaster has necessarily occurred and your business needs to continue running, a backup generator or two can save you from a serious financial situation. Backup power supplies will even keep your telephones up if you’re using VoIP services. Invest in your future and keep your business powered.

Set Aside Rainy Day Money

If you do happen to have a really bad rainy day, you’ll have to weather the storm and rebuild once you’re on the other side. This fund can help with repair costs as well as other overhead costs like employee salaries that might need a little injection after your business takes a hit. Experts estimate that it can take between 10 and 30 days for a business to fully recover from a disaster event, and that means between a little over a week to a month with interruption in profits.

When it comes down to it, there’s no way to fully “disaster-proof” a business–but that’s okay: entrepreneurs are not measured by whether or not they get hit by disaster. Rather, they’re measured by how they respond to that disaster, and how they bounce back from it as well. Preparedness is the first and often most important step in that process. Don’t wait until tomorrow–get prepared today.

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