Many areas of the United States are seeing an increase in the frequency of natural disasters. The Gulf Coast and Southeast coastline are well known for their warm weather and appealing climate. However, there’s a price to pay for that beauty.
The Southern United States contains 12 of the 25 most disaster-prone states, with hurricanes and other storms routinely causing hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars in damage. One of the reasons for this is that coastal areas face natural disasters more than inland regions. Also, certain industries in these areas, such as offshore drilling, increase the risk that something could go wrong.
Areas that are prone to disasters often prepare residents with evacuation instructions and tips for protecting themselves in the event of a major storm. However, businesses should also take steps to prepare for the worst, especially companies that rely on irreplaceable data, like tech companies.
Preparing for the Worst, and Hoping for the Best
Every business in high-risk areas should take basic disaster preparedness precautions and anticipate the need to protect their assets.
Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best means that your company can bounce back quickly and minimize losses.
So how can a business prepare for extreme weather events? First, a formal written plan should be put into place. That way, there will be no debate about the proper steps to take should a disaster occur. All employees should be trained on this policy and should know exactly how to respond if necessary. Assigning roles to each employee can help prevent chaos during a real disaster, and it can be helpful to run drills if you are in an especially high-risk area.
It’s also important to prepare the office for any scenario. While no one thinks they’ll be stuck at work during a hurricane or another disaster, it’s not always possible to predict when a storm will hit or what you’ll need in the office. Emergency supplies, such as bottled water, flashlights, blankets, and even non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking, should be kept in the building, just in case. For some businesses, having a generator on hand might also make sense.
The steps your company will need to take depends on a number of factors and can vary. It’s a good idea to look into disaster preparedness and to really consider the needs of your individual organization before you create your written plan.
Defending Your Data
Tech firms can’t survive without data. If something should happen to a company’s data, it could put them out of business for good. For this reason, business leaders must prepare for any and all possible circumstances that could lead to data loss, including fire, flooding, cyberattacks, and other consequences of natural disasters.
Some of the disasters that have destroyed data centers are so unlikely that they seem completely unimaginable. However, data has been destroyed in unusual ways by natural disasters, like second-floor flooding (without flooding on the first floor) and lightning striking a street containing a buried cable and melting it. As unlikely as these events were, they nonetheless caused the irretrievable loss of valuable data.
Thinking in terms of worst-case scenarios before a disaster strikes is key. It’s not enough to back up your data and use surge protection. You should ensure your backups are stored offsite or in the cloud as well, just to be sure.
Finding out More
Disaster preparedness can be complex and time-consuming, but it’s an important step for any business in disaster-prone areas. Fortunately, there are ways to find out more about how to prepare and protect your organization from the worst impacts of a weather event.
Online resources include both national and state-specific instructions for preparing to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster. Taking preventative steps immediately could mean the difference between bouncing back quickly and losing everything.
Take Natural Disasters Seriously
When the weather is calm and beautiful, it’s easy to put disaster preparedness on the back burner and to forget that it’s important to take natural disasters seriously. However, it’s important to assess your assets and liabilities every once in a while, and take precautions as necessary.
Some of the ways you can prepare for a storm may be too costly in some scenarios. That’s why it’s important to seek out preparation tips and ways you can protect your business before deciding what’s worth the investment for your organization. Each organization’s needs are different when it comes to disaster preparedness, but it’s key for every business to think about how to respond to and prepare for the reality of natural disasters.