Emergency Preparedness for Today’s Businesses

Being prepared for a natural disaster makes good sense no matter where you live. Whether it’s the possibility of an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, mudslide, etc., there is peace of mind in knowing you have quick access to some basics so that you can weather the storm. One way to prepare for an emergency is assembling a 72-hour kit. These are just a few of the items in our kits at home:

  • Light: Flashlights and candles and matches.
  • Food: MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), peanut butter, and dried fruit. And don’t forget comfort foods like chocolate bars (our preference: bags of semisweet chocolate chips).
  • Water: Bottles and pouches (and water purifier).
  • Cooking: White gas backpacking stove and Sterno canned fuel (and matches in a waterproof container!).
  • Other: Don’t forget other essentials such as toilet paper, First Aid kit, and cash.

It’s impossible to know the exact circumstances of any natural disaster; however, having a kit that includes basic items within easy reach can make all the difference when it comes to personal safety,  and if necessary, evacuating quickly to a secure location.

Emergency preparedness is no less important for today’s businesses. So, how does a business prepare for a natural disaster?

First, let’s consider what needs to be protected. All businesses depend on data. If mission-critical data is destroyed or goes missing, business comes to an abrupt halt. Lost data can lead to costly downtime, lost productivity, and long-term reputational damage. No data, no business. But how do you determine what’s mission-critical? Answering that question is a good way to understand what’s most important. What are the repercussions of losing files such as those that your sales team depends on? What about customer data? Financial data? Roadmaps? Emails? The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is this: your business depends on gigabytes terabytes, and petabytes of data that must be protected.

So, how do you protect large amounts of data for a distributed workforce economically and efficiently using a backup process that does not slow down or impede your everyday business practices? Not to mention  industry compliance regulations and security standards? Look no further than the cloud. To understand the benefits of the cloud is to recognize that it’s more than just about backing up your data. Consider that most businesses today have a distributed workforce with diverse assets. For example, a growing base of mobile users with more and more devices to access, store, and share data has created more complex data storage environments. Proper backup protection ensures that the data your business relies on—no matter where it resides—is not only adequately protected in the event of a disaster but that lost or damaged data can be restored in a timely manner with the least amount of disruption to the business.

As essential as a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit is, it’s only a short-term solution in the event of a disaster. The cloud, on the other hand, goes far beyond short-term protection for your organization’s data. The cloud can be a reliable, long-term solution that allows you to store important data remotely as part of your disaster recovery plan. Think of the cloud as ongoing, weather-proof protection for your business-critical data no matter what Mother Nature has in store. And chocolate chips are not required.

About the Author: Brian Heckert