How to prepare your IT department for a natural disaster

No matter where your business is located, you must prepare for natural disasters. As hurricane season continues, making sure your organization, and IT in particular, has solid emergency plans in place should be a priority.

Even if you’re not in a region vulnerable to hurricanes, you’ll want to be ready for a catastrophic event. It’s likely you already have some kind of emergency preparedness plan, but there are components to those plans that are often overlooked.

Keeping operations running as smoothly and safely as possible is the goal for any organization, regardless of the disaster. Try to keep IT functions going to ensure customers get their needs met, and communicate clearly if you won’t be able to ensure those functions.

Communication during disaster

Maintaining security is often overlooked during a disaster, but it’s important to include security measures in any emergency preparedness plan. If anything, natural disasters are a prime time for attackers to strike, since they know many organizations loosen their security restrictions.

In addition to communication, you want to make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need on hand in case transportation is limited or the power goes out.

Prioritize backup generators to keep IT processes going, and if you have advance notice of a dangerous event (such as a hurricane or tornado), be sure to prepare as thoroughly as you can for losses of power or internet.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, the most important component is training. Develop a comprehensive emergency plan, and tell all employees about their roles in it. Hold regular training sessions and drills, and avoid focusing on just one type of disaster.

Drills should touch on a range of possibilities, including power and technology outages. Prepare your IT staff to handle an influx of requests from customers and employees alike if a disaster strikes.

Prevention and preparedness are essential to making sure your company and IT department comes out of a natural disaster intact.