March 3 – 9, 2013 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With the theme, “Be a Force of Nature,” the goal is to increase awareness of severe weather and motivate individuals, families, and businesses to better prepare.
Certainly the number one goal of disaster preparedness is individual safety. As the United States is now in tornado season full force, and still feeling the brunt of many winter storms, it’s important for all of us to assess our severe weather preparedness, for home and business.
At Datto, our mission is to protect data and keep businesses running in the event of a disaster. Datto knows full well that the better prepared a business is, the better chance it has of mitigating the risk of data loss and in downtime. While businesses run a greater risk of data loss due to a technical disaster (server failure, malware, power outage, etc), the risk of a natural disaster is very real. Just ask those affected by Hurricane Sandy or by one of the 128 tornadoes (according to NOAA) that have already touched down this year.
The U.S. Small Business Administration even acknowledges the importance of severe weather preparedness when it comes to safeguarding one’s business … “Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster.”
Datto is constantly tuned to The Weather Channel, especially during regional storm seasons. As soon as we get word that a severe weather system is coming it’s all hands on deck; preparing our offices, data centers, and communicating with our partners. See Datto’s Director of Support, Victor Mathieu, run through these crucial preparedness steps. Datto is always here to support its partners and their clients in the event of a disaster.
An important component of ensuring that your client’s data is prepared to withstand a disaster is to take Datto’s Online Risk Assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to verify that the backup and recovery service you are providing to your clients is safe and secure, and that business continuity is ensured.
FEMA also has a good tool; it’s Business Impact Analysis is designed to help predict the consequences of disruption of a business function and process and gathers information needed to develop recovery strategies. I recommend you use this tool in speaking with clients about their business continuity needs; it could be a great consultative sales tool for you.
For those of you who don’t believe the U.S. is experiencing more natural disasters, and that they’re increasing in severity, take a look at the graphs from insurance company Munich RE. With 184 recorded natural disasters, 2012 has the second highest insured losses on record; second only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Natural Disasters in the United States, 1980 – 2012
Source: © 2013 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE. As of January 2013.
Natural Catastrophe Losses in the United States, 1980-2012
(Overall and insured losses)
Source: © 2013 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; The Property Claim Services (PCS) unit of ISO. As of January 2013.
It’s evident, and disconcerting, that more natural disasters appear to be happening. And they’re not going away. In fact they appear to be causing more destruction and costing more money. The best way to mitigate risk for both home and business is to prepare. For business, it’s all about business continuity.