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You Are Ready for a Disaster to Strike, but is your Business?

Press release from Cox Communications

OPINION

BY HARBIN BOLTON, vice president Cox Business Florida/Georgia 

Here along the Emerald Coast, we’ve seen disasters take various forms over the years.  From severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, and ice storms to the dreaded word that has its own season, hurricanes. There’s a lot that can go wrong and spell disaster for your business. While some businesses have a clear, well-defined disaster recovery plan for a worst-case scenario, as many as 68% don’t, and the result of not having a plan can be catastrophic in its own right.

In 2020, data is everything, and losing your customer or business data can bring your business to a standstill–a standstill many businesses never recover from. According to several sources, 93% of companies without Disaster Recovery who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year.

So, what you can you do? You can plan TODAY. Typically, we have several days to prepare for a potential strike from a hurricane, but why wait? A severe July afternoon thunderstorm can cause havoc for your business as well.  Prepare now for the worst-case scenario. Make sure that you’re ready for anything, should that disaster strike.

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Take a look at your insurance policy. Make sure you have everything within your business covered, should you experience losses. Also check your deductible amount. Make sure you have enough saved up, should you need to file an insurance claim.

Plug all of your electronics into a surge protector–computers, TVs, modems, cable boxes, everything.  Even if you’re not preparing for a storm, this will protect your electronics from damage caused by a possible power surge.

Log onto your business services account to forward your land lines to your cell phone, and back up all of your data with a cloud backup service.  This way, even if your power is out and services are down, you can still function remotely.

Finally, make sure you have all of the important contact information in the form of an emergency contact list.  Program these numbers into your cell phone. Your list should include police and fire departments, your insurance provider, power company, business services provider, employees, family, friends, and any other important numbers you may need. Charge your mobile device prior to the storm making landfall, and make sure you have a car charger as well.      

Following a storm, make sure you check on your most important resources first, your employees. Ensure they’re safe, and let them know the status of the business. Allow them time to handle the issues at their home, if any, prior to coming back to work.

Once a storm has moved through the area and emergency crews are able to access the damage, they will first start with clearing away debris to make roadways safe and restoring power. Cable, internet, and phone companies, such as Cox Communications, will then come in behind the power companies to restore services. It is critical that power companies first clear any active power lines and restore their service before telecommunication companies can restore services. Once power is restored, telecommunication services will be restored as soon as possible.

To ensure your business data is protected, ensure your important files are backed up in the cloud. If backed up in the cloud, you can access your business data regardless of any physical impact to your business. If you forwarded your phone, you should still be receiving calls to your business, and you can check your voice mail remotely through most business service providers. 

When you have power restored at your business, you may need to reboot your equipment. Unplug your equipment from its power source for 5 seconds. Plug everything back into the surge protector to get your equipment back up and running.

Following these simple steps can ensure you and your business are able to get back open quickly following the storm. So, as you get ready for the 2020 Hurricane Season at home, don’t forget to get ready at your business, too.

For more tips, or questions on cloud and voice services, log onto www.CoxBlue.com.   

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com.