Our thoughts and prayers go out to our clients and everyone in the Caribbean and the Southeast who has been impacted by Hurricane Matthew. If you have felt the effects of this Category 3 storm’s winds, rains, and floods, check out the critical tips below to assist with recovery once the storm passes.

This time of year, concerns about remote backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity become far more critical. Numerous studies indicate that catastrophic data loss is one of the most detrimental events that can occur to a business. The Small Business Administration estimates that nearly three-quarters of business owners don’t have a disaster recovery plan, while more than 80% don’t have natural disaster insurance and 70% don’t have access to a back-up generator.

Just as striking, 25 – 45% of businesses don’t open at all after a disaster — and 70% that suffer data loss go out of business within two years. Business surveys indicate that 95% of PCs are not adequately backed up, too. With Hurricane Matthew expected to be one of the costliest natural disasters in US history, we’ve prepared the following four tips to get you back on track next week — and to make you better prepared next time.

1) Remote, redundant, encrypted data backups are a must.

The vast majority of business backups are done on-site — often on drives located directly next to the computers they’re backing up. But if a flood affects your office, those backups can be destroyed. Remote, secure data backups house your critical business information in dedicated locations that are safe, secure, and often located far away from the natural disaster you might be facing.

2) Implement recovery plans to deal with data loss or business interruption. 

Comprehensive disaster recovery planning can prepare your business to get back up and running, no matter what nature throws at you. Properly measured “recovery points” (how frequently your data is backed up) and “recovery times” (how quickly information needs to be back up and running after a data loss) provide a crucial step toward post-disaster success.

3) Put your business continuity plan into action. 

Many business owners think that, even if a disaster strikes, they’ll only be affected for a few days. While early reports out of Florida indicate this might be the case in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, consider Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy, both of which put more than 50% of the small companies in their paths out of business for good and knocked many more out of commission for weeks (and even months) at a time. Those that were able to maintain operations via mobile phone, laptop, or good old-fashioned person-to-person interaction were the ones that saw their reputations strengthened in the wake of those devastating storms.

4) Get your data and your technology infrastructure virtualized.

This touches on the “recovery time” point made above: depending on how quickly you need your data to be recovered, a good virtualization plan can rebuild files on existing or secondary equipment after a storm passes. Top-tier offerings like CMIT Guardian can perform a full restore in less than 48 hours — and those hours can mean the difference between surviving a storm and succumbing to it.

If you’re located anywhere near the path of Hurricane Matthew, remain safe and take every precaution. Once the storm passes and you begin to assess damage, if you have any issues related to technology, contact CMIT Solutions. We have extensive experience helping businesses recover from natural disasters, and we are here to help.

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