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2012’s Hurricane Season Is Underway. Get Your Business Ready!

Hurricane season has officially started. Although the season didn’t begin until the first of June, there were already a few named tropical storms before it began. There’s no telling how many storms will strike. It’s impossible to predict how ferocious they’ll be. That’s why it’s critical for every company to have a disaster recovery plan in place to maintain operations in case a hurricane does hit.
 
There usually isn’t much warning before a hurricane arrives. Weather radar and storm tracking can give you a pretty good idea if your area is going to be in the storm’s path, but it’s hard to be certain. According to the Insurance Information Institute, nearly 40 percent of all businesses that suffer a disaster don’t recover from it. The best way to ensure that your business not only recovers but continues business as usual is to plan ahead.

Your customer base will expect your business to function no matter what happens because they are paying for your service. They have to operate during a storm as well. They’ll expect their confidential information to be secure. Customers must trust that you’ll safeguard their credit card numbers and any other information you might have stored on your company’s servers.
 
It’s hard to think positively about a natural disaster. However, by having a business continuity plan in place before a hurricane hits, you’ll have peace of mind that your business will meet the challenges of surviving the storm.
 
Preparing your business requires a two-fold approach. You need a continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan. Discover recovery plans will include how you will prepare, respond and recover from potential hurricane threats.
 
The first thing you’ll need is a backup power generator. It will prove invaluable if you’re hit by a storm. A generator can protect your critical data and computer records so your normal business procedures can continue unabated. You need off-site backup for your records. There are two types. You can store your data on a flash drive or external hard drive at your home or the home of an employee, or you can enroll in an online data storage service. This cloud-based backup is the safest because any home or storage site that is near your business is just as likely to be affected by a hurricane. Online backup is reasonably priced and priceless if you need it. When data backup is used in tandem with a reserve power generator, you can be up and running in a short time.
 
After making certain that your customers will not suffer an interruption of service, you need to ensure your company’s health. If you’re located on the coast, you must have adequate insurance. Contact your insurance agent ahead of time. Go over your policy carefully. It’s better to have too much insurance than not enough. You need to be completely covered for the cost of replacing any computers or essential hardware.
 
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Implement a continuity plan, and test it regularly. Make sure every employee knows their part. If you do get hit by a natural disaster, your company will be among the 60 percent of businesses that survive the emergency.
 
Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. She loves to blog about business planning and increasing revenue. Follow her @CedesPotter for other business ideas.


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