Now that we are in the peak of hurricane season, it’s good to refresh yourself on how to prepare your technology for hurricanes. Whether you are a business owner or not, you still have important documents, data, and pictures you will want to keep safe.
Always ensure you have a backup for your data and that copies are made frequently. Anything can happen to a home or office building at any time. A good idea is to back your data up offsite or in network files. The storage hardware for network files is usually kept in a physically secured place that is monitored 24/7. Having your backup offsite means you will have your data even when you are away on vacation. If you cannot backup your data offsite, another alternative is using a portable device. If you go this route, make sure your portable device has security features such as encryption. When you’re making copies of your files by saving it to different places, you’re also increasing the risk of a data security breach.
Secure the Physical Devices
The biggest threat to your devices will come from potential water damage from the storm. Storm surge and flooding are a big concern. Therefore, you want to make sure your electronics are taken off the floor and moved to a higher area. You’ll also want to move them away from windows and other areas that can be vulnerable to rain, wind, and debris. Make sure your electronics are unplugged from power sources and a good tip is to wrap them in plastic bags to further protect them from water. Even if your electronics are connected to a UPS, in the event of a hurricane, you should power them off and disconnect them. Consult with your IT professional about shutting down your servers and what to do about network switches, firewalls, routers, etc. This is an important step for businesses, as they may have a more complex set up.
If You Must Evacuate
Make sure you have a “to-go” bag ready in case you must evacuate at the last minute or very quickly. You’ll want to make sure you remember to pack the chargers for your phones, laptop, tablets, etc. Also consider having backup chargers.
Before and After the Storm for Business Owners
Before the storm arrives, make sure that you protect important documents such as legal contracts, insurance documents, and tax returns by placing them in water proof storage or plastic, sealed bags. Even if you have cloud storage, it’s a good idea to have a printed list of important phone numbers for people or organizations that are crucial to your business operations. After the storm, you will want to consult with your IT professional to get everything back up and running.