The 2017 hurricane season was record breaking, and not in a good way. September 2017 was the busiest month of hurricane activity on record, and some areas were physically changed forever due to the violent impact of the storms in 2017.
As of right now, the coming hurricane season is predicted to have above-average activity, which includes:
- The potential for 14 named storms
- A 63% probability of impact along the entire US coastline
- Three major hurricanes (category 4 or 5)
- 70 days of average impact from storms
(All data from Colorado State University hurricane research)
Given the sheer impact of extreme weather in 2017, it’s critical that your organization begin preparations now for this year’s hurricane season.
Every organization should have a formal and defined business continuity plan, which factors in all the various ways you could potentially experience downtime and potential damages and data loss.
While cyber security is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s critical to remember that 30% of all downtime is caused by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, flood, power, smoke, and more. Even if you’re not located in a region where hurricane impact is a concern, you are still at risk from factors such as sudden downpours, high heat and humidity, water leaks, and other abnormal or extreme conditions.
Preventing or mitigating downtime by proactively monitoring environment conditions within your facility is easily (and inexpensively) achievable. Think about the costs incurred with downtime – according to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of downtime has increased 38% in just the last 8 years. Investing a few hundred dollars in an environment monitoring system can result in thousands upon thousands of dollars saved by your organization.
Storms are becoming stronger and covering larger areas
Hurricane season no longer impacts just areas close to the coast. As weather continues to trend warmer, it helps to increase the size and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. The longer a storm lingers, and the larger it is, the more of an impact it brings.
Even rain storms are becoming more problematic for organizations. According to recent studies, rain storms are increasing the amount of water they produce than they have in previous decades, sometimes upwards of 70% in some regions. This increases the risk of flood damage, even to areas that may not be located close to larger bodies of water. Infrastructure that was built decades ago cannot keep up with the deluge of water that stronger storms are bringing, and as a result contribute to the increased risk of flood damage to your business.
Prepare for hurricane season this year and beyond
If your organization hasn’t recently reviewed and updated your business continuity plan to account for extreme weather events and unforeseen environment-related damages, now is the time to do so. If you wait until you’re in the path of a hurricane or extreme weather… it’s too late.
Investing in proactive environment monitoring and sensors to immediately notify you of heat, humidity, or water concerns will help you to minimize the damage that extreme weather can cause. If your region were to be hit with a major weather catastrophe, proactive monitoring may not be able to completely prevent damages, however it can give you a complete snapshot of the time and location that your organization began to be impacted. This will help hasten recovery timeframes and reduce the costs associated with getting back up to speed as quickly as possible.
Additionally, investing in flood protection gear such as water barriers and berms can help your organization protect sensitive areas and equipment from flood damage in the event of a water leak or breach during a storm. Flood protection is helpful and convenient year-round as well – one can never predict when a leaking pipe or construction accident could cause water intrusion into your facility or data center.
While 2018 isn’t expected to have quite the impact that the 2017 hurricane season had, it’s still going to bring several storms and extreme weather events this season. Be proactive with your business continuity plan and help lessen the likelihood of disaster recovery. Install proactive environment monitoring now, before your region feels the full brunt of Mother Nature’s fury.
Don’t feel a false sense of security based on your location; even a strong prolonged thunderstorm far away from the coast could cause downtime and damage to your organization. Monitor your internal environment as strongly as you monitor your network and data, and you can rest assured that you’ll help prevent costly downtime caused by temperature, humidity, flood, power outages, and more.