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Tornado Season Approaches – How’s Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

Spring is in the air. Flowers bloom, birds chirp, and the world around us awakens from its winter slumber. One problem: Mother Nature also enjoys giving us tornadoes in the spring. And she doesn’t provide us with a disaster recovery plan to go with those tornadoes.

In 2012, tornado season caused 70 fatalities, and estimated property and crop losses of $1.6 billion in the United States, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. That’s a lot of damage, which disrupted a lot of business continuity.

disaster recovery plan tornado

A tornado hit Louisville in 2011. Hopefully this business had a disaster recovery plan in place.

And while most of the tornadoes occur within “tornado alley,” several states west and southwest of the Louisville region, we nevertheless saw devastation in several local communities due to tornadic activity in 2011.

In fact, ClimateCentral.org suggests 2013 could be a bit harsher than 2012, which was a slightly calmer year due to drought conditions in tornado hotspots like Oklahoma and Kansas.

In addition, Harris-Mann Climatology, a long-range weather forecasting, commodity and stock advising service, says there is at least a 50 percent chance of an active tornado season for the U.S. Harris-Mann’s research states that the U.S. receives approximately 1,200 tornadoes each year, about four times more than Europe. Most of the twisters strike from March to August. On January 30, 2013, several strong tornadoes were reported in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

Harris-Mann meteorologist Randy Mann says that some long-term computer models indicate that ocean temperatures are expected to cool, which could lead to a rash of twisters sometime in May or June.

So the question for you if you are a business owner, IT professional or records manager is: Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place? Can you ensure business continuity in the event your business is devastated by a tornado?

A disaster recovery plan can be a huge undertaking, because such a plan will likely encompass not just your critical business data, usually stored on data tapes and servers, but physical documents stored at your facility, archived physical and digital documents, HR records and more. If you are in the financial or healthcare industries, you’re also beholden to government compliance regulations.

There are plenty of resources on how to build such a plan, and here is a well-prepared article by CSOOnline.com that provides plenty of information as to what creating a disaster recovery plan entails.

One key point in the opening paragraph of the article is that it may not even be a tornado that forces you to put your plan into action — it could be as simple as “a power outage caused by a backhoe in the parking lot.” Yikes.

Like it or not, we live in an area that has seen its share of devastating tornadoes. If you’ve got battery-powered radios and flashlights, blankets and drinking water in your basement in preparation for protecting your family in case of a tornado, shouldn’t you have a disaster recovery plan in place for your business?

Because, spring has sprung. Contact us to find out more about creating a disaster recovery plan, or comment below with your business continuity planning tips and ideas.

Kevin Gibson
Marketing Specialist

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