Start of Hurricane Season is a Good Reminder to Keep DR in Focus

By Bob Hicks, TierPoint SVP and GM, Pennsylvania

Last Monday (June 1) marked the first day of this year’s hurricane season. Experts from the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Climate Prediction Center say the East Coast will have a milder season than average, experiencing up to two major hurricanes during the period. And the West Coast should expect a more severe season than normal, facing up to eight major hurricanes. Keep in mind, these are predictions. Anything can happen.

The potential for severe weather over the next few months, from flooding to fires, makes it a good time to revisit your disaster recovery (DR) plans. If you get hit with an outage, where will you recover your data to? What is an acceptable amount of time that your systems can be down before it impacts your business? Have you fully tested your environment or run a simulated outage? Networking technology has matured enough to enable you to have operations in one part of the country and backups in another. These are some of the considerations that should be top of mind right now.

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One of the most common things that organizations fail to include in their DR plans is where they are going to put their people during a time of an outage or disaster. Ask your DR partners if they can provide you with dedicated or shared seats where you can house your IT team or instantly provision a call center.

Additional Resources
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency offers free maps that show where flood risks are located. The NWS also hosts the National Hurricane Center for additional resources to keep you informed of potential severe threats. With a little digging, you can find several apps that will send you alerts about pending weather. Though if we are being honest, at that point, it is a little late to set up a colocation site or deploy backup servers. You are either ready or you are not.

The official start of the hurricane season is a good wakeup call to check readiness levels for the summer and fall seasons. This hurricane season is notable in that it is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Let’s hope nothing like that happens ever again.