The First Tropical Storm of the Season Hits – Is Your Disaster Recovery Plan Ready?

The first tropical storm to hit the U.S. this season has arrived. Cindy made landfall this morning near the Texas/Louisiana border, bringing torrential rains and strong winds. Flooding is predicted to be most severe further north and east of where the storm made landfall, with flood warnings expected to continue in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Now is a good time of year to review your company’s plans for disaster recovery and business continuity. If you still don’t have a plan in place, there’s no time like the present to implement one. According to Inside Energy, June is the most common month for severe weather outages, followed by August and July.

Power and network outages are common when hurricanes and tropical storms hit, and outages from storms are becoming more frequent. According to Climate Central’s analysis of 28 years of power outages, the data shows weather-related outages doubled since the mid-80s, and weather caused 80% of total outages. Additionally, a joint study conducted by UC Berkeley and Stanford University found that increasingly severe weather is causing longer power outages. The study indicates that a 5% increase in annual average winds yields a 56% increase in the duration of utility outages.

Due to the inevitability of outages from severe weather, it’s essential that your company has an up-to-date, thoroughly reviewed and practiced disaster recovery plan in place. If you don’t have a formal IT disaster recovery plan yet, it’s good to start out by documenting your RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) to figure out how often you need to back up data, and how quickly you would need to recover it in the event of an outage. Then, start evaluating backup tools that can meet your needs. It’s also a good idea to keep your critical infrastructure in a facility with redundant power and maintain a secondary safe site where employees can continue working as needed.

Choosing a disaster recovery site is an important decision. It’s ideal to choose a location with a low occurrence of natural disasters. Download our white paper that provides 10 key factors to evaluate when choosing a disaster recovery site.