Can you believe that it has been five years? Sunday October 29th marked the anniversary of the New Jersey landfall of Superstorm Sandy. This was such a turbulent time for the region, the state, and for small businesses. The losses were incredible and unimaginable.

Until the recent tragic losses endured by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Sandy had been the second most economically devastating tropical storm in US history at an estimated $71.5 billion dollars. It was also the only storm in the top ten whose primary impact was above North Carolina. One could argue that this is part of the reason for the massive cost and toll on the area; that we are not as well prepared due to the infrequency of major activity.

It can be all too easy to forget so this is where facts come into play.

First and foremost- 73% of the businesses in New Jersey qualify as small businesses. In consideration of these companies:

  • According to the National Hurricane Center- 19,000 had losses over $250,000
  • According to Dun and Bradstreet- 171,129 were found to be in severe financial difficulty post storm
  • According to the Hartford:
    • 75% were forced to close for at least one day
    • 44% were forced to close for at least one week
    • 71% lost power for at least one day
  • According to Forbes- 30% of businesses that were negatively impacted by the storm would go out of business within the first year. Long term, the expectation was that the distress would increase that number to 40%.

Staggering right? So, have you ever considered what the cost of a day, or a week, where your business cannot operate? It is vital to have contingency plans in place for the future success of your company. A business continuity plan and/or disaster recovery plan can be the difference between disruption and shutting your doors permanently.

Now the question becomes, if your business was effected by Sandy, what have you done since to ensure that the impact of another storm would not be as serious? Or if it wasn’t, but you are concerned with the possibility of another event, are you prepared? What can you do?

Consider Technology

Though clearly the implications of its reach go far beyond weather incidents, technology can play a vital role in preparedness. Here are just a couple of the ways that you could better prepare your company for any event that Mother Nature or the Law Offices of Murphy Murphy and Murphy throw your way.

Backups. Post Sandy, 15% of those who suffered loss wished that they had backups in place. Honestly, I’m surprised that this number is not much higher (and wonder if the same question was posed to those affected by more recent events such as Harvey or Irma would feel more strongly). If your company stores business critical data electronically, backups become your lifeblood. Beyond the hurricane example, backups are used to recover systems from various forms of malware, ransomware, and other viruses. If you are not storing electronically, it is events like Sandy that should convince you of how important using the technology available can be for your business. Without backups, if equipment is destroyed, lost, or otherwise inoperable, you have lost your data. I know that this is a fairly obvious statement, but think about that. What is the impact on your business and your clients if you don’t have that data? Not to mention industries where there are ramifications to the loss. In healthcare there are requirements under HIPAA, but there are growing needs within finance and legal firms as well. Backups are the key to disaster recovery. They can be accomplished in many ways and can work within most budgets.

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Secure Remote Access. For many during Sandy, the office was damaged, the roads were not cleared, or their train wasn’t operating, but they were safe at home. In some cases, people even had power at home and were capable of doing work. Although it may not be “business as usual,” the fact that the office is closed does not mean that the business can’t be open. In some industries, you can’t really ever be “closed” without the fear of losing your customers/clients. In these cases, why not offer a secure remote access to company files so that work can still be done? Controls can be put on the access just as within the office and the downtime that you experience can be minimalized. Additional security such as two factor authentication can also be employed. Again, there are many platforms and ways to accomplish remote access and the added capabilities can really make a difference. Productivity and efficiency are the end goal after all.

Phone a Friend

Unfortunately, the question is “when” and not “if” another disaster will affect the area. Knowing that solutions exist, isn’t it time to put them in place? The numbers do not lie. The choice not to act is detrimental to your business and potentially hurtful to your client base.

That being said, technology solutions are not always something that you can fully accomplish in house. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Infoaxis, align IT strategy and focus with overall business objectives. We consult with you about your pain points and end goals, putting together the right pieces that will make you feel more secure whether the sun is shining or when the next “hundred year storm” is heading up the coast.

“The only constant is the increasing pace of change.”- Miguel Gamino (NYC Chief Technology Officer)

Embrace IT with Infoaxis. Call us today to engage. (201) 236-3000

Written by Matthew Knowland