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Katrina Vs. Sandy – Is Your Business Prepared for a Hurricane?

Seared into our recent memory is the utter devastation brought to the shores of mainland USA by two deadly hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina plowed into the Gulf Coast on August 29th, 2005 and sent a deluge of flood waters rushing toward the New Orleans area. Hurricane Sandy struck the mainland on October 29th, 2012 as it barreled its way up the east coast, leaving havoc in its wake.

These two storms were deadly reminders of the power and unpredictability of nature as well as the necessity of solid disaster preparedness plans that can be executed at a moment’s notice.

So, how do Katrina and Sandy compare? Here’s a short list:

  • Death Toll in Mainland USA: Sandy – 132, Katrina – 1,833
  • Estimated Cost (in 2012): Sandy – 71 Billion, Katrina – 148 Billion
  • Homes Without Power: Sandy – 8.51 Million, Katrina – 3 Million
  • Displaced People: Sandy – 30,000 Individuals, Katrina – 600,000 Families
  • Jobs Permanently Lost: Sandy – 11,000, Katrina – 230,000

Since coming to grips with both the dangers of and the unexpected nature of unexpected disasters such as these, owners just like you have begun to take preparations for business continuity more seriously. These storms showed us that a hurricane can not only shut down a business, but an entire region and economy for a period of time.

With this in mind, we turn our attention to the 2016 Hurricane forecast. We are told by the experts that we are to expect fourteen named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes in 2016. Not to wisely prepare for natural disasters such as this amounts to rolling the dice on the future of our companies.

What industry leaders do in preparation for these natural events is often a cue to the rest of us as to what we should be implementing in our own businesses. When it came to Hurricane Sandy, Goldman Sachs was ahead of the pack in investing in sandbags and backup generators. They were one of the few businesses that had power and were able to function through the super-storm.

That is not to say that Goldman Sachs relied only on sandbags and generators. Certainly not. Since the Y2K scare of 2000 businesses of all shapes and sizes have invested in comprehensive IT disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

The more that internet technology and communications figure into a business, the more thought has to be given to IT planning within the larger scope of business continuity. As a matter of fact, for most businesses today, IT has become the largest business continuity factor. After all, without communications, applications, data, and access to e-commerce platforms most of todays’ businesses grind to a screeching halt.

Because the threat from hurricanes and other natural disasters is real and not some hypothetical scare tactic, it is important to partner with an IT company that specializes in helping businesses make the best use of today, but plan for the worst that may come tomorrow.

BIOS Technologies has a combined total of decades of experience in advising, creating, and implementing solid business continuity plans. We want to partner with you and help you preserve what you have worked so hard to achieve! Give us a call today at (504) 849-0570 or send an email to We’d be glad to start this journey toward business continuity and security with you.

Here are some things to consider when setting up a disaster recovery / business continuity plan:

  • Take care of your employees — everything else can be replaced. Make sure not to put unreasonable or unsafe demands on employees and have an alternative payment strategy in place for payroll so they have what they need to get through the difficult time.
  • Make your plans detailed. A general plan can be as bad as no plan at all. Have a detailed plan and go over it regularly with your staff.
  • Plan for a range of scenarios including variations in magnitude and duration of events.
  • Consult with an IT managed service provider about having geo-redundant backup of data and applications.
  • Check with your vendors to see what business continuity plans they have and how you can still get supplies in a timely manner.
  • Test your plans.
  • Have alternate communications in place.

These are just a few considerations. BIOS Technologies has an extensive 2016 Hurricane Season Checklist that we can go through with you and implement strategies to ensure that you and your business are prepared to face the worst that the 2016 hurricane season can throw at you. CLICK HERE to download our 2016 Hurricane Season Checklist.

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