Hurricane preparedness is paramount for business owners on the Alabama Gulf Coast, particularly when considering the potential impact on IT infrastructure and support. Here’s a detailed checklist to effectively prepare your business and support team for a hurricane:
#1: Risk Assessment and Contingency Planning
Identify potential risks and vulnerabilities of your IT infrastructure to hurricane-related damage.
Develop a comprehensive contingency plan for IT systems, including data backup and recovery strategies.
#2: Hurricane Preparedness Team
Appoint a team leader responsible for overseeing hurricane preparedness efforts.
Assemble a cross-functional team with representatives from IT, management and other relevant departments.
#3: Communication Plan
Establish a communication chain for emergency situations and designate backup contacts.
Ensure all team members have updated contact information for each other.
#4: Data Backup and Offsite Storage
Regularly back up critical data and ensure the backups are stored offsite, preferably in a different geographical location.
#5: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Install UPS units for critical IT equipment to provide temporary power during power outages and prevent data loss or hardware damage.
#6: Protect Equipment and Cables
Raise critical IT equipment off the ground to safeguard against flooding.
Secure cables and wires to prevent tripping hazards and water damage.
#7: Backup Power Generator
Consider investing in a backup power generator to sustain essential operations during prolonged power outages.
#8: Shut Down and Secure Systems
Develop a procedure for safely shutting down IT systems before a hurricane makes landfall.
Secure servers and sensitive equipment to prevent damage from strong winds.
#9: Remote Access and VPN
Set up secure remote access and VPN capabilities to enable employees to work from home or alternative locations if the office is inaccessible.
#10: Communication Channels
Establish alternative means of communication, such as email, messaging apps or VoIP services, to keep in touch with your team during and after the hurricane.
#11: Testing and Drills
Regularly test the backup systems, data restoration procedures and disaster recovery plans.
Conduct hurricane preparedness drills with your IT support team to ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
#12: Review Insurance Coverage
Review your insurance policy to ensure it adequately covers potential IT infrastructure and data losses due to hurricanes.
#13: Supplier and Vendor Communication
Reach out to your IT equipment and service providers to understand their hurricane preparedness plans and how they can support you during a crisis.
#14: Stay Informed
Monitor local weather updates and official announcements from emergency management agencies to stay informed about the hurricane’s trajectory and potential impact.
#15: Employee Safety First
Emphasize the importance of employee safety above all else. Ensure that your team members are aware of evacuation procedures and follow them if necessary.
Remember to regularly review and update your plan to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies. By being proactive and well-prepared, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges posed by severe weather and ensure the safety and continuity of your business operations.
Get a FREE Hurricane Preparedness Assessment
You can book a meeting with Phillip to see if you qualify for a FREE Hurricane Preparedness Assessment. Please select a date and time from his calendar below.
Phillip Long – CISSP, CEO of , along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.