What Business Continuity Lessons Can Be Learned From The Algo Mall in Elliot Lake

Algo Centre Elliot LakeHurricanes, floods and earthquakes occur in nature all the time. Although there are seasons when certain types of natural disasters are more likely to occur, something like a flash flood, for instance, can happen anywhere in the world at any time of the year. So, when managed IT services providers recommend that their clients create disaster recovery plans, the clients often focus on the natural disasters and forget about things like structural failures, power outages and cyber criminals.

A roof collapse in the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, a city in northern Ontario, on June 23, 2012, killed one person and injured several others. At least nine people remained missing as of June 27. Water damage is the suspected cause of the collapse.

This type of tragic event could happen anywhere. If the roof of your office location suddenly collapsed – we hope while everyone is gone – could you continue to do business as usual, or would you have to start making apologies to clients because everything you need is trapped under heavy debris? That’s why disaster recovery plans are so important. Disaster can strike anywhere at any time … and it doesn’t have to be natural.

Too often, business owners put off or simply refuse to create disaster recovery plans for their businesses because they don’t live in “disaster-prone areas.” A roof can collapse on any business. A car could crash through one of the walls of your building and take out your server room. The area where your office is located could suffer a black out. A hacker could infiltrate your company’s network and upload a virus that corrupts or deletes important company files. A careless employee could accidentally delete important company files, or a disgruntled one could deliberately dump valuable data just for spite. The list goes on and on. Life is unpredictable. If you’re truly committed to the success of your business, you must have a reliable disaster recovery plan in place.

Some steps you could follow are:

  1. Establish reliable backups for all of your company’s systems. With things like VoIP technology, even phone systems and email can be backed up and accessed within minutes if necessary.
  2. Create a schedule for checking backups to ensure that important company information is indeed backed up, viable and stored in a safe and secure remote location.
  3. Create a list of people to take responsibility for tasks such as contacting clients, vendors and employees if a disaster strikes, etc.
  4. Create an action plan that includes naming who takes over if you or someone else is injured or otherwise unable to work.
  5. Have disaster recovery drills, maybe on the same day as you have scheduled fire drills. This will ensure that when disaster does strike, everyone will know what to do.

Disaster comes in many forms.  Don’t discount your need for a disaster recovery plan because you don’t live in an area that’s regularly plagued with hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires. Consider more likely events such as structural failures, power outages and villainy.

Does your business have a disaster recovery plan in place?  If you are not sure and you think your business data maybe at risk, call us right away.  We can help.