When a hurricane is fast approaching, there’s only so much you can do to prepare.
If a storm hits, the aftermath can be devastating, leaving your business offline for days or even weeks.
But there are some things you can do in the days leading up to a hurricane—and after it passes—to help minimize the impact or bounce back from disruptions quickly.
Before the storm
1. Back up your critical data
If you have time, make sure your critical data is backed up. You should have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place, but if not, back up your most critical data to somewhere far outside the hurricane’s path.
2. Align employees on roles and responsibilities
Before the storm hits, identify which employees will be critical to getting your business back up and running after the storm. Be sure to also designate employees who can step in and perform another individual’s duties should they be unavailable last minute.
3. Declare a disaster
When a hurricane hits, you might have to make a disaster declaration and activate business continuity (BC) and IT DR processes to limit business downtime and data loss. This might involve failing over your IT systems and applications to your DR site – which might be at a different internal location or a service provider’s facility.
4. Get out of the path of the hurricane
It’s most important to get out of the path of the storm. Once you do that, you can then start thinking about the potential road to recovery.
Recovering after the storm
1. Check in with your employees
Once the hurricane has passed, your first priority is your employees. Make sure they're safe and recognize that some might be unavailable after the storm.
2. Find connectivity
Next, get these employees connected.
Some employees might be able to work from home. Others will need a mobile recovery unit, which can provide power, internet connectivity and phone service in areas where those services haven’t yet been restored.
3. Carefully assess property damage
Lastly, assess the damage to your business.
Once floodwaters have receded and authorities announce it’s safe to return, be careful. Remember: Don’t turn on power in the building before confirming it’s OK to do so. Inspect the building for structural damage and contact a salvage vendor if the damage is significant.