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How do IT disaster recovery plans for a hurricane disaster differ from preparing for other disasters

How is DR planning for a hurricane different than preparing for other disasters?

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The main difference in disaster recovery (DR) planning for hurricanes and other forms of disasters is the lead time. Once hurricane disasters are predicted, you usually have 48 hours to prepare for them, though hurricane paths can still be somewhat unpredictable. Use those 48 hours to your advantage by making adequate preparations in your company. This means making sure there is ample food stored for those who may stay at work, fuel generators, boarding up of exterior windows, etc.

Hurricanes bring two major problems for organizations: heavy rain and sustained high winds. Make sure you prepare for water and flood damage. Also, people tend to forget the issues that may arise from high winds. Debris may come to you from quite a distance away. And depending on where you're located (rural or urban setting), the effects of debris may be quite different.

Also, if you have a recovery site, make sure that is prepared and operational well before the hurricane strikes. I know of a few organizations that have the recovery site manned and fully operational within 48 hours of the expected arrival, just so they do not have to worry about last minute preparations.

This was first published in April 2010

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