Severe Weather Preparedness

Tis’ the time of year when we begin to hear the familiar testing of the Tornado sirens and the weather channel reminders of Severe Weather Preparedness.  The Emergency Response Teams are in practice drill mode and sharing Public Service Announcements daily. Being native to Indiana, this is just part of the reminder of Spring.  Just like the annual vestige of Spring-cleaning, the dust and winter debris is blown off the sirens, the Emergency Response teams send “this is just a test” alarms across the airwaves.  It is what we have come to expect in a “tornado alley” state. With the recent tornados in Oklahoma and the severe weather season upon us, it is time to take stock in what is important. If severe weather is going to happen isn’t the question, when it is going to happen, is the issue.


Do you approach safeguarding and preserving your data for your business in the same way as our Indiana Emergency Response system?  Is the siren that you hear actually your IT team sounding off at the need for more secure measures and a way to back up your data that is cost effective and doable? Are the “tests” that you run, actually the panic moments when something crashes or your data is lost? What happens if you really do have a Severe Weather event that takes down your hardware?  Are you as prepared as you should be?


Here is an example of a business that did not prepare for the storm ahead and learned the hard way they should have listened to the sirens:


A tax and insurance company in Lebanon, Indiana located in a strip mall business area along with several other businesses met with a difficult ending on a cold winter evening.   A spark that started a few doors down caught the entire complex on fire and engulfed all of the businesses in a four-alarm catastrophe that threatened to destroy livelihoods and years of work.  One business that saw their years of work ready to go up in flames actually begged the fire team to retrieve their computer server and rescue their data from an untimely death.  Because they housed their data on hardware equipment and did not have adequate backup or data recovery plans they knew that the loss of this in-house server would threaten their ability to continue business.


This is a stress that just does not need to happen. For many small businesses, the weather poses a risk that keeps them on the brink of a disastrous ending to their livelihood.  They have not come to understand the cloud and the potential that it has for helping them ride out the storm.  This spring is a good time to evaluate and look at where and how you are planning for disaster recovery in your own business.


Here is another example of a business that took their cues from the Emergency Response Team and prepared for the impending in climate weather.  Their proactive thinking literally kept them out of deep waters.


In November of 2013 a tornado ripped through this Title and Escrow company in Kokomo, completely gutting the building.  Structural and water damage made retrieving anything from the rubble nearly impossible. Because this company had established a backup and recovery system through Polleo Systems the year previous they were able to set up a make-shift office, continue utilizing the data they had safely stored in the cloud and continue with serving their customers in less than 24 hours time.


So when you are sitting at your desk and you hear the sound of a tornado siren, your heart will skip a little beat until you hear “this is just a test”.  When you hear that sound let it be the reminder to you about the safety of the data that you hold dear.  Do you want to be caught out in the open with no place to take shelter from the storm, or are you safe, warm and dry riding out the storm comfortably because you listened to the forecast and looked to the cloud?