Hurricane impact highlights business continuity necessity
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Hurricane impact highlights business continuity necessity

Companies along the east coast recently braced for Hurricane Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane making landfall near the nation's capital as well as its financial heart. Despite announcements that the New York Stock Exchange would stay open, many other businesses and essential infrastructure functions were shut down in New Jersey, New York and areas beyond. Businesses without enough diversity in their information portfolios were made crucially aware of their shortcomings as hurricane concerns turned to statewide calls for emergency preparedness.

A number of tech events were also cancelled due to safety concerns. Other companies safely out of the hurricane's path should look at these events and take note of the impact they have on corporate function. Being ready for a disaster with the best offsite storage and secure document maintenance is essential to maintaining a connection to the business' mission-critical information. Without these vital links, corporate continuity could be in danger.

A storm of trouble
The hurricane that struck the eastern seaboard is not the first. A year ago, a similar incident shut down many of the same areas – states of emergency were declared in many areas like Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island only within a few days of the storm making landfall. Subsequently, this could have impacted many companies' preparedness for the storm.

Combatting this issue, a number of key firms are staying open for business as long as they can. Without the right backup drive solutions, Goldman Sachs is keeping its operations open until it has no other option but to close, according to NASDAQ. The New York Stock Exchange has voiced a similar concern and solution, yet intense flooding still cause it to close its doors.

Such options are not viable for many entities, however, making it critical that they have adequate backup solutions like offsite tape and disk storage, as well as online solutions like cloud and virtualized server deployments. All these tools allow businesses to feel confident that, even if the power should go out for an extended period of time, their information assets will be kept safe. Regardless of if there is widespread flooding or prolonged periods of outage, there will be safe ways to retrieve information and resume business.

Cancelling big announcementsAt the same time that some entities are forging ahead, other major technology companies are calling off conventions and upcoming events, in order to maintain the security and safety of clients and personnel. Google and Android cancelled a major conference meant to unveil a new shift in its hardware development, according to NASDAQ. Simultaneously, another tech conference held by online guru AllThingsD was forced to call off its week-long event as the governor asked all low-lying businesses to evacuate their premises. Other companies dodged the bullet by intentionally holding their events before the storm, like Microsoft's Windows 8 reveal, which took place several days before the hurricane made landfall.

For entities without proper security and offsite storage of their files, such a need could be fatal to ongoing livelihood. Without the right kind of hardware protections, any storm might leave corporate information outside the grasp of a company, meaning the business could not resume normal operations until such time as it could establish its network. For those without a secondary backup option, destruction of hardware due to flooding and other natural forces could mean total collapse for a company.