Preparation and Recovery: Working Through Hurricane Ian

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An Interview with Senior Project Manager Eric Dischert

AT: Hurricane Ian has been rough for many. Last week’s landfall in Florida affected some of our clients there. How did we work with them to help prepare?

ED: First off, our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible storm!

We manage IT for a large, nationwide firm that has several branches, including many in the state of Florida. With a very short timetable, we were able to determine which of the companies were directly in the path of Hurricane Ian—these went to the top of the priority list, and we double-checked that their onsite server and financial data were backed up to a cloud-based service. This gave them peace of mind that even in a worst-case scenario, at least they knew that their data was recoverable.

If a business or organization leader has limited prep time before a disaster, what are one or two things that are essential? 

It’s critical that the business data—electronic company files—is backed up somewhere, ideally offsite. If time is of the essence, even making a quick copy of the data to an external drive and taking that drive with you offsite is better than nothing. Computers and other equipment can be replaced but if a company’s electronic files are destroyed it would be really difficult for a small or mid-sized firm to recover.

If a backup plan isn’t in place and immediate exit is necessary, you could also just disconnect any laptop or desktop computers and take them with you.

Computers and other equipment can be replaced but if a company’s electronic files are destroyed it would be really difficult for a small or mid-sized firm to recover.” – Senior Project Manager Eric Dischert

We’re not unfamiliar with other brands of natural disasters here in St. Louis. We don’t always get sufficient warning or the ability to plan ahead. If a business has been caught without prep and is now in recovery mode, what can they do?  

It’s important to submit an insurance claim right away and make sure you take a lot of pictures of damaged computers, monitors, everything. If computers have been damaged, it’s possible that data can still be recovered from damaged hard drives. Contacting a firm that specializes in data recovery is also a good first step.

One of the best things that can come out of a disaster is that they often help us to prepare for the next one. If a business is looking to prepare for a potential future event, where should they start? 

Definitely have an emergency preparedness plan in place. It doesn’t need to have hundreds of steps— even a basic plan that tells staff how to exit the building and where to go for safety, emergency phone numbers, etc. Go over this with your staff to make sure everyone who has a part in the plan can execute it with just a moment’s notice. Implement a solid, cloud-based backup plan and test your restores periodically. Keep a waterproof case or bin that includes a disaster kit onsite. This could include flashlights, extra batteries, fire extinguishers, bottled water, blankets, etc. 

Thanks for sharing this information, Eric! We’ll continue to work with our Florida-based clients and those across the nation as they prepare for, face, and recover from interruptions in their day-to-day operations, as well as the news-making natural disasters.


Want to get your company prepared for whatever comes next? We’d love to help however we can. Give us a call today!