If you didn’t take the proper steps to ensure your business would be operational after Hurricane Irma passed, the chances that you are still trying to get back to business as usual are high. According to Fortune, the damage sustained during the storm add up to nearly $250 billion. And while that number is lower than original estimates anticipated, losses are still accumulating for businesses in the form of lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.
The silver lining: while hurricanes are among the most devastating forms of natural disasters, from a business continuity planning perspective, they do have an advantage for business owners. Unlike other disasters, business owners can begin preparing up to a week before a hurricane hits.
Considering the amount of time your business has to get ready for a hurricane, there is virtually no reason not to have a business continuity plan. Because when it comes to protecting your livelihood and that of your employees, scrambling the week before may not be enough.
Here’s what you should do to make your business continuity plan effective for the next hurricane:
Back up Your Data
Your business depends on its customers’ information—names, email addresses, phone numbers, and even personal identification numbers. Once lost, they cannot be retrieved. If you utilize your own servers to store this information, or if you use an off-site facility that is still in the path of the storm, you need to back up your data in the cloud, or keep it stored there in the first place.
Communicate Your Plan to Employees
Does your team know the plan forward and backward? Can they implement it without your guidance for the next Hurricane Irma? During a hurricane, they might have to. Because power outages and spotty cell service are just a reality during hurricanes, your team needs to know their part in the business continuity plan.
Make Sure You Can Reach Your Team and Your Clients
As we’ve seen, and as some of us are still experiencing, power and cell service are some of the first things to go and the last to return. Do you have an alternative way to get in touch with your team members and clients? You will definitely want to consider adding VoIP services to your communications arsenal.
Traditional phone and power lines are fragile in high winds. Downed lines mean that your landline phone is useless. But with a VoIP or PBX phone system in place, you can send and receive calls even if your office is without power. That’s because these types of phone systems are decentralized and rely on the cloud or off-site servers to function. And that means you can access your calls with the click of a button on your laptop from the safety of your hotel room.
Get an Emergency Power Source
If you plan not to evacuate during the storm, having some form of backup power will help you get back on your feet quicker. A gasoline generator will give you the bare-bones power you need to keep things running. But don’t stop there. Consider purchasing portable power packs for your phone, laptop, and other electronics. In a pinch, these can give you the juice you need to make a call or send out an important email. And remember not to plug your electronic devices directly into a generator without a surge protector.
Ready to Move Your Business Past Hurricane Irma?
If you’re tired of waiting for the power to come back and cell service to return after Hurricane Irma, don’t wait. Call nQuery today for a free consultation. We can help make sure that your telephony and technology business needs can continue through the next storm.