Three Steps to Ensure Successful Disaster Recovery

By: Michael Puldy - Leave a comment


In today’s environment, disaster recovery is more important than ever. When a critical situation hits a community, many people are busy taking care of their families. As we observed in Houston with Hurricane Harvey and then in Florida with Hurricane Irma, many employees were in no position to work. It’s hard to drive to the office when a tree is in your driveway, the roads are flooded or your car is underwater.

Preparation is crucial to facing these situations head-on. The following outlines three basic steps you can take to improve your safety, resiliency and communication to expedite your personal disaster recovery program.

1. Stay Safe

It’s crucial to stay safe so you can help others and ease the burden on a strained infrastructure. The old saying “if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem” is fitting during a disaster. If there’s an option to leave the disaster area before crisis strikes, get out. If you evacuate, you take yourself out of the recovery equation. Doing so will help to ensure that you and your family are safe in a location where the infrastructure is working.

Of course, evacuation isn’t always an option. If that’s the case, you will have to design a plan to endure the storm.

2. Design a Personal Resiliency Plan

When someone is resilient, it means they can bend, but they will not break. A person’s ability to be resilient involves good planning.

What’s your personal resiliency plan? For starters, you’ll need water, food, cash, power and shelter. You should also make sure to back up your data so you’re covered in case your laptop floats away. Cloud backup systems work for many businesses and are even cheaper for individuals.

3. Ensure Effective Communication

During a storm, it’s possible that the internet will be functioning on a mobile network. However, without power, these systems could be down for days or weeks. Hand-cranked powered radios can allow you to receive information until better systems are available. Portable solar charging stations can also provide a great option for small devices like phones.

According to NPR, social media empowered people to communicate during Hurricane Harvey. By utilizing these platforms, people could get the word out about where they were, if they were safe or if they needed help.

At IBM, we can easily send text messages to all of our employees in an affected area to find out if they are safe or need help through our resiliency communications-as-a-service. This technology can be leveraged for businesses and governments to communicate to citizens at the time of a disaster to provide an easy way for those in need to request help.

It’s impossible to plan for every type of disaster. However, taking a few simple steps to protect yourself will go a long way to protect you and your family during a crisis.

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About The Author

Michael Puldy

Director of Global Business Continuity Management for Global Technology Services, IBM

Michael is responsible for long term strategy, tactical guidance and governance for business continuity management and resiliency programs across the globe at IBM. For the majority of Michael's career, he has focused almost exclusively on business resiliency. From his personal experience in the financial industry through his services and product tenures at IBM, he has... Read More