Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 9, 2018

Remember Harvey, Irma and Maria? Are you Weather Ready?

 

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Business Continuity Institute (BCI, https://www.thebci.org) event led by our Committee Chairperson, Becky Cohen with Bluegreen Corp., who brought in a NOAA/National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist (wow that is mouthful), Robert Molleda, to talk to us naturally about Hurricanes and how we can all be better prepared. For those that forgot what occurred during the 2017 Hurricane Season or were luckily spared from Harvey, Irma or Maria, last year was the costliest season on record with damage totaling around $300M and left a wake of destruction that will take years to repair and rebuild, if at all possible in some areas.

Robert was able to show us a great deal of the latest technologies that were actually beginning to be deployed in 2017 and has carried over into 2018 to help NOAA/NWS better determine the potential path of storms using more accurate “Forecast Cones” along with where flooding can impact those specific areas after the storm has passed, to again help all of us better prepare prior to a Hurricane approaching and well before lines around Home Depot and Lowe’s stretch for city blocks on end. Obviously this is a bit of a “tongue-in-cheek” reference by me as the latest technology used by NOAA did help save property and most importantly, lives, during some of the most devastating storms ever seen in one year, but frankly a whole lot more needs to be done and not just because we are in Hurricane Season right now. Last year I worked with a South Florida Data Center and received numerous calls as we were leading up to the posted Hurricane Watches and Warnings from clients ready to drive to our office with their Servers in hand so that they could protect their Data and Infrastructure inside of our facility even as local authorities were putting us on lock-down due to Irma approaching in just a few days. Even after Irma passed, we were still receiving calls from clients who didn’t have either Power or Network connectivity (or both!) for weeks after the storm passed, so we were still busy for quite some time getting these companies back on their feet after Irma left a wake of destruction specific to the South Florida area.

The reason for revisiting this from 2017 is that this should be a big “Lesson-Learned” that “Failing to Plan” is…you should recognize the second part of this adage that some attribute to Benjamin Franklin (no relation) is “Planning to Fail”.  I know that I have spent the past few weeks and months since I joined CenturyLink sharing information on how Data Center, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Compliance and Connectivity are critical to keeping today’s businesses up and running, however by not addressing Business Continuity and not having an up-to-date plan that has been tested on a regular basis, you could be testing fate and there are too many companies from last year no longer in business due to not having a BCP/DR Plan in place and that’s quite unfortunate.

What I would first highly recommend to get the latest information about Weather, Storms, Hurricanes is to do what I did, which is to sign up to be a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, which is a free program offered by NOAA/NWS to assist you and your company and community with information to “ready” you for extreme weather or climate events. Ultimately the program is designed to help promote resiliency and preparedness so that we can do all that we can to communicate and assist people and companies in our communities should events warrant. To learn more about the program and join for free, please go to https://www.weather.gov/wrn/amb-tou and register, which takes only about 5-10 minutes to do.

Finally, if your company is looking at putting BCP/DR into place or has a plan that hasn’t been reviewed in a while or if it hasn’t been tested in quite some time, we can assist you at CenturyLink with our Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to help protect your Enterprise Systems and Back-Up your Data. More information is available at: http://www.centurylink.com/business/hybrid-it-cloud/resiliency-services.html or you can certainly contact myself or my Team so we can consult with your organization on what would work best for you.

Once again let me give another Big Round of Thanks to Becky and Robert for putting on a terrific joint BCI/NWS Event that educated our local providers and will hopefully spur others to be “Weather-Ready” for 2018 and beyond.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments at Glen.Benjamin@CenturyLink.com or 954-974-6262. Let’s be SAFE out there!

 

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