IT Disaster Recovery Planning Ahead of the 2023 Storm Season

Much to the relief of Floridians and other Atlantic coast residents, La Niña has become inactive. When in effect, this weather phenomenon historically increases the frequency of tropical activity, including storms and hurricanes. El Niño, the extreme counterpart of La Niña, is also presently inactive. Without these two phenomena impacting global weather patterns, it should give those in the state some relief after a destructive and tiring past few storm seasons.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – in charge of the rotating lists of names for storms (often called tropical cyclones) – named 14 storms in 2022. The two years prior, that number was even higher. The year 2021 brought about 21 named storms and the most recorded number of storms in history was recorded in 2020. 

The high-frequency storm years were highly destructive as well. So, what does the relief coming during this next period mean for disaster recovery planning? In many aspects of disaster prep, this will mean less required energy to adequately prepare for the season. However, when it comes to IT, just one storm can cause serious damage and lead to significant downtime. So, properly preparing for potential disasters is a priority whether La Niña is active or not.

How to Prepare for Storm Season on an IT Level

Most media coverage for severe storms focuses on structural damage to buildings. While this form of damage can be devastating for individuals and businesses, it’s important not to forget other damage that can occur internally, including to a business’s IT infrastructure or devices. In the modern commercial world, much (if not all) communication and information transfers and storage occur digitally, either within an on-site network or via a cloud-based alternative. 

Ensuring that the network and the devices, information, and data within it are protected in cases of severe weather is a critical aspect of IT management.

IT Equipment Hazards During Storm Season

Knowing how damage can come to the IT devices and equipment is a great first step in protecting those assets. Lightning and electrical surges can cause extreme physical and functional damage to this equipment or the outlets that connect it to its electrical source. This can cause fires, causing further equipment damage. Surges and electrical fires aren’t the only causes of damage to IT equipment. Especially in Florida, water damage can be equally as damaging. Broken windows, flooding, and roof damage are all possibilities during severe storms.   

When server damage occurs, all information and data stored within that network are at risk as well. Recognizing this has had a significant impact on businesses choosing to utilize a cloud network. For those with on-site networks, however, severe storms can mean lost files and/or communications – potentially impacting employees and customers as well.

Tips for Preventing Data Loss & Limiting Downtime

As previously mentioned, utilizing a cloud network or cloud storage solutions is a great idea when it comes to keeping data secure during storm season and any other time when an on-site network might incur physical damage. Regular (and frequent) data backups are also advised – at least daily if not more often. Backing up data off-site in a secure facility ensures that data is protected even if devices on-site incur damage. Many companies schedule backups to occur at regular intervals, making the process almost completely hands-off. However, it’s important to occasionally check that this automated process is occurring as planned.

The more important information is for maintaining regular operations, the higher it should rank on the list for backups. Establishing a hierarchy of all systems and information required to operate and their importance can help a business form a plan of action should a storm arrive. Determine what systems or data access is needed for business continuity to prioritize those and avoid excess downtime addressing less important items.

Continuity depends not only on having undamaged IT equipment but also having electricity to power that equipment. Power outages occur often during harsh storm seasons. For companies relying on electricity 24/7 to power certain systems, having a backup power source is also key to limiting any downtime of those systems and the implications that can have on how that business operates.

At the most basic level, surge protectors offer protection in case of electricity voltage surges. They are inexpensive and can save businesses significantly in the case of a lightning strike or electrical surge. Just be sure to invest in true surge protectors with auto-shutoffs, not simple power strips that offer no protection, just additional outlets.

IT Disaster Recovery Plans from Kustura Technologies

One of the best ways to prepare for storm season is to invest in disaster relief or recovery plans for the business. The team at Kustura Technologies understands that lost data or damaged IT equipment can completely stall or prevent effective operations within an organization. So, we take a proactive approach when developing and implementing disaster recovery plans for business customers in the Jacksonville and Gainesville areas. 

Our IT disaster backup plan includes several services to both keep your data secure as well as recover quickly should a natural disaster strike. Daily, off-site backups of protected data are stored in our privately owned level 4 data center. This means damage to your business facility doesn’t put your company information at risk. Plans also include security measures and hardware repairs or replacements if needed for telephone systems, PCs, and other equipment.

Disaster planning and recovery is just a small part of the comprehensive IT services and products offered by Kustura Technologies. To learn more about protecting your business (during storm season or otherwise), contact the Kustura team today!

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