January 30, 2015

Disaster Preparedness 101

What do fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes all have in common? Nobody who became a victim of any of these disasters saw it coming or expected it to happen. But don’t worry — the majority of businesses that develop sound disaster preparedness plans come out of the situation just fine, especially when they have offsite services, such as a call center, to keep mission-critical operations running.

Prepare for Power Outages

Too many businesses are held hostage to the local power company, and when lines are down or service is otherwise disrupted, there is no way to continue operations. Backup generators aren’t that expensive. Some datacenters and other businesses that can’t afford power outages also invest in backup systems from additional utility companies, but this is rarely helpful in a large-scale disaster, because if one company’s lines are down, they likely all are. Generators can use a variety of fuels, so select the type that is most affordable in your area. Be sure you have reserves of any fuel you choose to use, as these fuels often become scarce, overpriced, or unavailable during a disaster.

Prepare for Communications Outages

Companies that have BYOD policies (Bring Your Own Device) fare better when phone lines are down, because employees can use their handheld devices to keep up with calls, emails, and even a certain amount of website management. When phones are out, take advantage of this critical resource. However, don’t depend on employees’ power chargers. Invest in solar chargers or another system to keep devices powered during an emergency. Ideally, you will have a telephone answering service at another site, which can take calls while your staff is involved in cleanup efforts.

Offsite Backups

Having an offsite or cloud based backup system is critical so that data isn’t lost even if local servers and hard drives are. Be sure that the restoration process is well tested, so that systems can be restored easily if a disaster does occur.

For offsite communications you can count on, contact Always Answer at 800-606-9898 today.