By Davis Merrey
November 1, 2022

How to prepare a business for a natural (or man-made) disaster 

Preparation is key to ensure your business and IT systems can weather the storm.

Hurricane Ian savagely marked the end of a relatively quiet storm season for the east coast of America. Businesses from Florida to New Jersey will spend the next weeks, months, and possibly years recovering. Here in Oklahoma, we are hardly affected by coastal hurricanes, but we surely have our share of damaging weather effects in the form of tornados, flash floods, and ice storms. Business disruption can be highly unpredictable—and severe—and technology-dependent organizations (all of us) can never rest when it comes to the need for disaster planning.

Is your business prepared to live through a natural or man-made disaster? Can the company operate without access to your IT systems for hours, days, weeks, or months? Here are some questions to help you determine your readiness to “weather the storm.”

  • Is a disaster recovery solution in place, supported by company policies and procedures?
  • Do you trust that solution? How did it perform in the past?
  • How often are the solution, policies, and procedures tested? 
  • How long is the anticipated recovery time?
  • How long can your business tolerate downtime? Minutes? Hours? Days?
  • How much will a minute, hour, or day of downtime cost your business?
  • How soon can you access your data? How current will that data be?
  • Will you have access to your email? 
  • Is there an alternate work location?
  • Can employees productively and securely work from home? 

The best way to create a disaster recovery plan is to form a team of the employees who will be most affected by losing normal access to your IT systems. Have them answer the questions above and prepare a needs analysis that includes the following: 

What? Which systems and data must be recovered first?

When? What is a reasonable recovery time for the data, the hardware, and the applications that use and create the data?

Where? Where will employees work during the recovery period?

How? How will we operate during the recovery period? Do we need temporary hardware and software?  

Involve your IT resources in this process and have them create a detailed plan and budget for recovering from natural and man-made disasters.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin

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About Davis Merrey

Davis, is Owner/CEO of TeamLogic IT of Oklahoma City, part of an international network of franchisees providing IT support for businesses. He brings many years of experience in a variety of technology related industries, leading teams in providing technical solutions that respond to critical customer needs. The company culture is defined by its Mission Statement: “To help our fellow employees and clients be successful”.

Davis earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He serves on several business related and non-profit boards of directors.