How to prepare your business for inevitable disasters

Close-up of a blue notebook on a wooden desk. The notebook's title says "Emergency Response Plan."It could be a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado or cyberattack. It might strike tomorrow, next week, or next month. Although it’s impossible to predict the exact details, sooner or later disaster will inevitably strike and disrupt your business.

With catastrophes increasing in frequency and severity, companies today face a difficult battle to keep their doors open as extreme weather and cybercriminals threaten to derail operations. In addition to grappling with pressure to stay competitive through digital transformation and customer experience enhancement, business leaders must also brace for data breaches, storms, flooding, wildfires and other calamities that could destroy their hard work.

As the world becomes a more dangerous place, it’s critical that you take steps to prepare for the future calamities that will inevitably threaten to shut down your company. Here’s why investing in disaster recovery matters now more than ever.

Disasters on the rise: Businesses face increasingly intense threats

This summer alone, the U.S. has already suffered heat waves, wildfires and catastrophic flooding, according to the article “’Historic’ weather: why a cocktail of natural disasters is battering the US” from The Guardian. As the world gets warmer, these events will become even more common due to “compound extremes,” the meteorologist Dr. Andrew Hoell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) physical sciences laboratory told The Guardian.

For example, recent flooding in Yellowstone resulted from torrential rainfall coinciding with snow melting due to high temperatures. Going forward, we can expect more destructive floods, fires and other intense crises to disrupt our lives.

In 2021 alone, 20 weather/climate disasters in the U.S. resulted in losses of more than $1 billion, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Those cataclysms included a drought, floods, severe storms, tropical cyclones, a wildfire, and a winter storm. For comparison, from 1980 to 2021, the average number of billion-dollar disasters per year (CPI-adjusted) was 7.7. From 2017 to 2021, that average rose to 17.8 incidents per year.

On top of naturally occurring disasters, businesses also face virtual threats in the form of cyberattacks. During the first quarter of this year, there were 404 publicly reported data breaches in the U.S., a 14 percent increase from the first quarter of 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Nearly all (92 percent) of those breaches involved cyberattacks, with phishing and ransomware as the main methods.

Ultimately, it’s only a matter of time before hackers target your organization or a natural catastrophe impacts your operations. Now more than ever, preparing and investing in backup and disaster recovery efforts and solutions is critical.

How to prepare for catastrophe: Investing in disaster recovery and business continuity

In the aftermath of a disaster, approximately 25 percent of businesses never reopen, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, planning for business continuity can significantly improve your company’s chances of surviving the crisis. FEMA recommends that businesses of all sizes complete the following before disaster strikes:

  • Obtain insurance policies to cover potential damage.
  • Establish a plan for communicating with employees, partners and clients after a disaster.
  • Keep any paper copies of vital records in a waterproof container and store copies at a secondary off-site location.
  • Follow FEMA and the National Weather Service for updates and alerts.
  • Create IT recovery procedures, including data backups and a hardware inventory.

A backup and disaster recovery plan is critical if you want to maximize your odds of successfully weathering any catastrophe. If you’d like guidance, our trusted technology advisors can connect you with leading suppliers of the following solutions in our partner network:

  • Data backups
  • Business continuity services for minimal interruptions
  • Hosted data centers for rapid restoration
  • Cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions

Our advisors can leverage their experience with backup and disaster recovery and business continuity solutions and advanced tools to generate comparison matrices that make it easier to identify ideal products and services for your company. We can help you bypass biased sales pitches and efficiently pinpoint solutions that align with your needs and goals.

If you put off planning for disaster, you could end up losing everything you’ve worked hard to build. Don’t wait until the damage is already done. Call 877-599-3999 or email today to talk to our advisors about backup, disaster recovery and business continuity options.

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