This year, businesses up and down the country are facing challenges that haven’t been seen for several decades: in particular, the threat of blackouts. The National Grid has issued a warning that UK premises (including businesses) could be left without power for periods of up to three hours at a time , due to potential natural gas and oil shortages caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
This situation means that now is the time to take the steps necessary to protect your business. A robust disaster preparation plan should cover aspects such as health and safety for your employees, but also take a considered look at how to prevent disruption and losses to vital IT infrastructure and systems.
Keep Your Staff Safe
Of course, the well-being of your team will be your first priority in the event of a blackout, and it’s crucial to know exactly where everybody is at all times. Keeping stringent records (including sign-in forms that aren’t dependent on electricity to access) to ensure that you have an accurate headcount to work from is particularly important in these days of flexible and hybrid working patterns. Ensure that all staff are briefed on safe exit routes and that emergency lighting is fully functional, particularly in key locations such as fire exits. Let home workers know exactly who they need to contact, should they lose internet access due to power cuts, too.
Be sure to emphasise the importance of regularly backing up important files, or opt for software management systems that incorporate IT recovery in the event of a crash.
Consider Alternate Power Sources
A robust disaster recovery plan is key to protecting your interests this winter. If even a brief interruption to your power supply will put your vital operations at risk, then investing in backup equipment such as an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system could be a smart move. Today’s generators can deliver many hours of power and will kick in immediately should they detect a loss of grid power. Having such a system can also protect your business from the risk of data loss, which can prove disastrous for any organisation, as well as potentially put your organisation at increased risk from opportunistic cybercriminals.
Protect And Recover
Of course, with this threat of blackouts also comes a host of difficulties for organisations in a range of industries and sectors, including a disruption of essential operations and services, leading to a significant loss of productivity and, therefore, profits. Data loss could also be a real possibility, which again could have ruinous consequences for the organisations affected.
Meet with Your leadership team to re-assess your continuity plan. Technically a temporary blackout doesn’t fit the remit of a disaster. All your systems are still intact, and this is most likely affecting multiple people. Could your team do some planning and organising during a blackout window, can they download some training books and read them offline? Finally, during a blackout at what point do you actually announce it is officially a disaster, usually if an outage lasts for more than 4 hours your DR plans would kick into play, do you have someone in touch with your landlord, the DC provider who can update you on when power might come back.
Thankfully, you can mitigate against these dangers by taking the steps outlined above, or, more simply, by partnering with the experts in dealing with any tech emergency. Here at Reflective IT, we can help you to ensure a speedy IT recovery should the worst happen, helping to keep your business on track in even the most adverse circumstances. Please get in touch today at reflectiveit.com, to learn more about our comprehensive disaster preparation and recovery services.