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Comprehensive disaster preparedness for your business.

Why disaster preparedness for businesses is essential.

The 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season began last month—and is already off to a record-breaking start. 

Hurricane Beryl became the first storm to ever reach Category 5 status in the month of June as it battered the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean. After destroying more than 90% of the infrastructure on the islands of Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada, Beryl became the strongest hurricane on record in the month of July when its top wind speeds reached 165 mph on the morning of July 2. 

After sweeping past Jamaica and striking the northern end of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Beryl emerged into the Gulf of Mexico as a disorganized tropical depression. But then it re-strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane before striking the Texas coast on July 8, with heavy rain and flash floods expected across the South and Midwest. 

With that kind of historic start to hurricane season—and wildfires starting to burn across the American West and much of Canada—now’s the time for every business to seriously examine its data protection, IT infrastructure, and disaster preparedness protocols.

Over the last 10 years, nearly everyone in North America has been impacted by some kind of natural disaster:  hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and more. When these catastrophes strike, communities are often left in turmoil and companies struggle to recover.

That’s why disaster preparedness is so important. When companies take the time before a disaster strikes to assess their data backup, incident response, and business continuity plans, they can react more confidently when a disaster does strike. 

Here’s what CMIT Solutions recommends for businesses across North America: 

  • Strong data protection and disaster recovery frameworks that companies can rely on. In today’s digital age, data is the lifeblood of organizations. Protecting critical information from the potential impacts of a hurricane, fire, or other natural disaster is a must to maintain day-to-day business operations and client trust. If not already in place, businesses should consider implementing robust data protection strategies like regular, remote, and redundant data backups, secure offsite storage, and cloud-based solutions with strong encryption measures. Also essential are actionable data recovery protocols that enable swift system restoration, minimizing downtime when disasters occur.
  • Business continuity plans that build resilience. Natural disasters can wreak havoc on vulnerable businesses, leading to significant financial losses and operational disruptions. Comprehensive business continuity plans can help companies implement alternate work arrangements, backup power systems, and step-by-step instructions for restoring normal workflows. Testing these plans in advance ensures they can be executed efficiently, mitigating negative impacts on employees, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Virtualization strategies that empower everyone to bounce back. In some cases, disasters can damage a company’s physical infrastructure to the extent that functioning computers are not immediately available. Virtualization protocols detail which remote machines can be used to reinstate compromised data, with a key computer in an external location designated as a failsafe option. Planning and testing these kinds of virtualization strategies in advance can be a game-changer, helping your company survive a disaster instead of losing it all.
  • Fortified IT infrastructure and communication networks that enable connectivity. Effective disaster preparation also involves hardening essential infrastructure and communication systems to withstand the impact of a hurricane, fire, flood, or other natural disaster. Governments, utility providers, and telecommunication companies ensure the resilience of power grids, water supply systems, and Internet connectivity. However, smaller businesses often have to fend for themselves for days or even weeks after a disaster. Those companies that prepare in advance for prolonged service disruptions often find themselves surviving and thriving where other businesses might fail.
  • Incident management support that fosters greater collaboration. The worst disasters often bring out the best in people, requiring active participation and collaboration from individuals and groups within the community. In the business world, this is often referred to as incident management, or a plan for how different individuals will react in the face of different types of disasters. Depending on your geographic location and the events your business has weathered in the past, good incident management plans will include defined roles and responsibilities for your employees so that everyone knows what to do in the face of a disaster.

Not sure what to do in the face of hurricanes, wildfires, or other weather threats? You’re not alone. At CMIT Solutions, we help businesses across North America build awareness now to foster a culture of resilience in the future. Once your company takes the necessary steps to prepare for the threat of natural disasters, you’ll be in a better position to succeed in the future—and serve as a leader in your community if something does go wrong. 

As we brace ourselves for another hurricane season and turn a cautious eye toward other climate impacts, disaster preparedness and data protection become incredibly important. At CMIT Solutions, we can help you implement robust business continuity plans, safeguard critical data, strengthen infrastructure, and enhance resilience in the face of adversity.

No matter what threats your company faces, CMIT Solutions is ready to help. Our 250 independent offices in the United States and Canada have helped thousands of businesses respond to hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes, ice storms, pandemics, cyberattacks, and other incidents. 

The biggest lesson we’ve learned is that preparation is critical—before disaster strikes. The more time you spend prepping for a possible threat, the better off you’ll be when bad things happen. Contact CMIT Solutions today if you want to have data backup protocols and disaster recovery procedures in place before severe weather or summer storms strike.

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