Hurricane Harvey may become the first U.S. Category 3 tropical storm to make landfall in more than a decade. Heading to the Texas Gulf Coast, the fierce storm is expected to make landfall Friday night, August 25th. Millions across the area are bracing for continuous rainfall, battering winds, and extreme and damaging flooding are expected in the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana. Harvey is expected to linger in these areas for a few days before weakening.

The damage could be catastrophic for some areas. All residents in the area should listen to local official advisories and take all necessary precautions. After securing one’s personal safety, it’s also important to take into account the impact Harvey will have on local businesses.

Securing one’s business so that operations can continue beyond Harvey is crucial for the areas, and there is still time. Here are a few business continuity tips for local businesses as this storm approaches:

  • Create a phone tree for your organization and stay in touch.
  • Have a plan and contingencies.
    • Where will you go Monday morning?
    • What do you need to take from your office?
    • How will you support your customers, and from where?
  • Send out the storm plan to your employees, customers and partners. Include a communications schedule and stick to it.
    • Send an update to employees every few hours with what you know and don’t know.
    • Send updates to customers with updates that affect them regularly.
    • Communicate with suppliers and partners on which you depend to ensure you have what you need to get back to business.
  • If your business cannot withstand a period of lengthy downtime, secure a facility further inland for you and your employees or ensure everyone is able to work remotely.
  • Hurricanes can put data centers out of commision. Make sure your business data, backups, applications, and server images are stored off-site.
    • Your IT professionals will be able to restore systems either virtually via the cloud or at the site where you’re resuming operations.
    • If time allows, test the backups of crucial servers before the storm hits.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

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