The effects of climate change could mean that storms yield more precipitation and stronger winds than ever before, according to NOAA. Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28, 2022, causing more than $112 billion in damage. It was the costliest hurricane in Florida history and the third costliest in U.S. history.
What can businesses expect this hurricane season?
Losses in earnings for Florida businesses reached $23 million in just the first week after Hurricane Ian, larger than the drop seen at the peak of the COVID pandemic in March 2020. According to a forecast by NOAA, the 2023 season prediction is for 12-17 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes.
Businesses should consider these key factors:
- Safeguard your staff and structure thru a preparedness plan.
- Protect and preserve your data both physical and digital.
- Formulate a plan for business continuity for operations after a storm. A good plan may include arrangements to relocate to a previously identified site, recover information, and a method for working effectively with a more modest staff of critical individuals.
As we saw with Hurricane Ian, it only takes one hurricane to cause widespread devastation and upend lives. So regardless of the number of storms predicted this season, it is critical that everyone understand their risk,” said FEMA Administrator, Deanne Criswell.
Hurricane Season Started June 1st So Get Ready Now!
Hurricane season is already underway but there’s still time if you haven’t completed a Business Continuity Plan. As a gulf coast business with clients from Florida to Louisiana, we know firsthand how devastating a major storm can be. In 2018, Hurricane Michael destroyed many of our employees’ homes and sent 6 feet of water into our office. Having a robust business continuity plan was key to our fast recovery from the storm. Our team could resume operations while fully remote, ensuring all our clients’ marketing efforts were accounted for. This plan worked well for us and we are sharing it for others to use.
In the wake of a storm, our usual forms of communication are often severed: phone lines are down, power is out, and even the roadways to your business could be impassible. How will you communicate with your customers when they need you? Social media is great for relaying messages quickly to your entire customer base, but if you don’t have an online audience, they likely won’t know to reach you there. It’s essential to have an established digital presence, so customers know you’re accessible online.
Zero Website Downtime
At KMA, our Business Continuity Plan allowed us to continue to serve our clients while balancing repairs to our homes and office. Our team felt confident and prepared because of the careful steps we took in advance of the storm. We were proud that our clients and over 130 websites we host experienced zero downtime because our Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are located safely in the cloud with backup servers in secure, inland locations.
The Importance of Private Servers & Hosting
You might think your website lives in an invisible network, where it’s protected from physical damage, but this is not the case. Websites live inside a computer, but not the one on your office desk. Our clients’ sites are hosted at data centers nationwide out of the path of coastal storms. Our web team always has a direct eye on our sites and our in-office monitor alerts us to any issue in real-time. Bryan Baird, our Senior Web Development Manager, even receives alerts to his Apple watch 24/7, so your website is continuously being monitored.
Developing Your Business Continuity Plan
Your business is interconnected with so many aspects of your local community. Think about how many people rely on your goods and services every day. When you can continue operations after a disaster, you also improve your community’s ability to recover. Having a Business Continuity Plan is key to increasing the safety of your employees and customers but also helps you to remain in business after tropical storms and hurricanes.
Preparing your business for a crisis begins well before boarding up windows and filling sandbags. Many vulnerable aspects of your business may not even cross your mind until it’s too late. Download our plan now and make it your own to protect your business.
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