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Weather the Storm this Hurricane Season

Last year, the costliest hurricane season on record drove home the need for better preparation, contingency and business interruption planning for businesses. The 2018 hurricane season is upon us, and that begs the question: are we better prepared, both at home and at work?

This hurricane season is expected to be less severe overall, with five to nine named storms expected. Fewer storms is the good news, but the bad news is, most of those are expected to become major storms with enough force to cause significant damage.

Disaster planning doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive. Often, putting simple strategies into place can go a long way to securing your business and personal assets. Sentinel advises that you take steps today to avoid disruption to your business, as even the most minor interruptions can have a devastating impact on revenue, brand and reputation.

Disaster Planning for Your Business

Communication. Having an emergency communication plan in place is the most cost-effective step your company can take to maintain operations during and after a storm. And, should your business lose power and cease operations, a communication strategy will ensure that the recovery process can begin immediately. Ensure that company managers have secondary means of communication if working from home or offsite, and that key personnel have access to company data and records, usually through a secure laptop computer, when away from the office.

Data. Perform regular system backups, both on servers and for cloud storage, as part of your company’s ongoing IT protocol. If print records are vital to your business, make sure they are stored safely.

Power. It’s likely your business will lose power during a storm this season. Will it be for five minutes, or five days? How essential is it that your facility and its systems remain on line? If the answer is “very,” it is time to consider a commercial generator. They aren’t cheap, but are a good investment when weighed against the resulting loss of business and damage to your brand.

Vendors/Suppliers.  Over half of U.S. businesses today do not have an alternative supply chain strategy. This is a formula for disaster. After all, any single point of failure can have a snowball effect on operations. Establish a working relationship with backup providers of the most critical services you rely on to run your business.

Continuity. Develop a proactive business continuity plan capable of significantly reducing your risk of business disruption. For details on how to develop a plan that works for your company, click here: http://sentinelra.info/events/business-interruption