Businesses still reeling from Sandy

Stephen Perkins

Although Hurricane Sandy struck approximately six months ago, businesses are still having issues stemming from the gigantic storm. Small business backup solutions could have helped many of the affected companies, as a report by the Hartford said 52 percent of small and midsize businesses in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and surrounding areas experienced a loss of sales or revenue because of the storm.

When it came to why these businesses lost money, the report said 74 percent of small business owners had to completely shut their doors after the storm, 71 percent lost power and 56 percent lost phone or internet connectivity. Eleven percent of companies experienced property damage due to the storm.

"Our research shows that loss of connectivity had a big impact on small business owners, which affected their ability to contact customers and keep their businesses open," said Ray Sprague, senior vice president of the Small Commercial insurance segment for The Hartford, which conducted the research. "We have found that small businesses who take the steps to prepare and protect the business, such as establishing emergency communication systems and backing up critical data, tend to be the ones that can prevail after weather emergencies."

How to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster
Moving forward, there are some ways that businesses can better plan for natural disasters such as this, the Hartford said. Looking at what went wrong, the report presented the following stats:

  • 87 percent of businesses said they were equally or more prepared than other companies during the storm, but most small businesses were unprepared
  • 25 percent had data backup codes for critical programs and information before the storm
  • 20 percent protected physical infrastructure before Sandy hit

The Hartford said companies must review their insurance policies, have a solid data backup plan, invest in a power generator and have a plan in place for when future natural disasters hit. No matter where an organization is located, there is always a chance the next Sandy is on its way and that could end up costing them money or valuable information.

A recent report by one backup and storage company showed that IT leaders may need to also be a bit more forward thinking when it comes to business, as 96 percent of companies have employees that use mobile devices but a mere 28 percent have a disaster recovery plan that includes smartphones, tablets or other gadgets.

Categories: Disaster Recovery