Hurricane Season and Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Plans

August 18, 2008

Many of the larger clients of Onsite New Orleans Computer Service had informal business continuity and disaster recovery plans (BC/DR) for their Microsoft based systems; however Katrina pushed every disaster plan far beyond its limit and exposed many weaknesses that exceeded imagination.

Most of the pre-Katrina BC/DR plans involved a full backup and system shutdown in advance of an approaching hurricane. The backup was packed for evacuation as business owners and their key employees scattered for higher ground. In hindsight, these BC/DR plans were a joke in preparation for a cataclysmic disaster like Katrina.

Most felt the evacuation would require a two – three day disruption in business. Very few considered the complete failure of the New Orleans levee system and the damage resulting from submerging 80% of the city for three weeks. Many parts of the city were subjected to flooding in excess of 10 feet. No one fathomed the submerged basements in office buildings where servers, switches, routers, generators and other emergency equipment were utilized. Virtually all communication via telephone, cell phone, and Internet were impossible.

As the city was pumped dry after three weeks of marinating in salt water, people were slowly allowed to return. Much to the chagrin of business owners and their key employees, their BC/DR never considered a Katrina disaster and its consequences. The city and everything in it was a mess beyond imagination. Many of our clients were slow to return and developed hasty contingency plans for operation in other geographic areas. The total costs associated with lost business and lost IT operation may never be known.

As the Gulf Coast approaches the busy time of hurricane season, consider your BC/DR situation. Are you prepared for another Katrina? At Onsite we have LOTS of hands-on experience with successful disaster recovery. Before the next disaster strikes, call Onsite to develop or evaluate your BC/DR plan.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at eli@onsitenola.com. Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.

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