September 30th is Disaster Preparedness Day. This gives us a great reason to go over some of the most common disasters that can potentially affect your businesses. There are dozens of potential disasters to choose from, but since we’re an IT company, we’re going to focus on the four top disasters that can mess with your company’s IT infrastructure.
Remember, in the face of every disaster, the key to coming out unscathed is to back up your data.
Loss of Power
The thing about power loss is that it’s a devastating side effect of some of the most common disasters. Now, you might be thinking that losing power is no big deal; just light some candles and keep working on your fully-charged mobile device. However, for your IT infrastructure, losing power is a huge deal because the sudden loss of electricity could lead to data loss due to your system being improperly shut down. You need to have a plan in place to safeguard your data from such a disaster.
Unless your company happens to have deep pockets or you're located in a place that has spotty electrical service, it’s likely the case that purchasing a full-blown backup generator isn’t feasible. Instead, a more reasonable option for SMBs is to equip your network with an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This is a battery-powered tool that kicks on as soon as the power is cut. Different models of UPSs provide your system with different amounts of power. The overall goal of the device is to buy you enough time to properly power down your system in the event of a power loss, not to act like a generator.
Floods and Tropical Storms
If your office is located next to a body of water like a river, lake, or ocean, then there’s a realistic chance that heavy rains will one day cause major flooding that will damage your facility. Even if you’re not directly next to water, a major storm like a hurricane can move inland and cause flood damage to structures far from the coast. Not sure what kind of risk your business is in from a major flood? Research your local history; you may be surprised to learn that your location was hit with a flood a hundred years ago. If that’s the case, it’s only a matter of time before a big flood happens again.
To prepare your IT infrastructure for a flood, one action you can take is to make sure that your equipment is located off the floor. Of course, a measure like this will only protect you from a minor flood that trickles in and ruins your carpets. For a major flood that wipes away everything with a tsunami-like wall of water and debris, there’s little you can do except to have your flood insurance policy paid up. In regards to any disaster like this, having your data backed up off-site is the way to go (this is achieved with White Mountain IT Services’s Backup and Disaster Recovery tool).
The risk from earthquakes isn’t as regional as you may think. The Earth’s tectonic plates are constantly shifting and their movement can be unpredictable. In fact, Oklahoma used to only average two small earthquakes per year. In 2014, the state was hit by 585 earthquakes, which is three times more than California, which sits on the infamous San Andreas Faultline.
We don’t have to tell you how devastating “the big one” can be for your business; having your data backed up off-site and available for recovery once you rebuild is the fastest way to get your business back on its feet from a major disaster. Additionally, taking advantage of cloud services will help to your access mission-critical applications so that you can keep your business going after a quake has taken your in-house servers offline.
Fires have the ability to devastate your business, and they’re no respecter of location, unlike floods and earthquakes. To make matters worse, fires can happen both naturally (forest fires and lightning strikes), and by man-made means (arson and gas leaks). When it comes to fires, you’ll want to prepare as best you can to equip your office with fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems. Although, one thing about fires is that even small ones can devastate your IT infrastructure. Smoke and water damage from putting out the fire can be just as devastating to your hardware as a major fire that incinerates everything. Be prepared with a BDR from White Mountain IT Services.
September's Disaster Preparedness Month provides us with an opportunity to look at disasters like these, but when it comes down to it, you should take a page out of the Boy Scout’s manual and “always be prepared.” Now is the time to enact a disaster preparedness policy that will protect your business and your data from anything and everything that can devastate it. For assistance with this, give White Mountain IT Services a call at 603-889-0800.
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