Be Prepared for Winter Storms to Ensure Business Continuity

With last winter’s Nor’easters still fresh in our memories, forecasters have predicted colder weather and fewer winter storms for the NYC area for early 2019. According to AccuWeather, El Niño will affect winter weather across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. A few big snowstorms are expected to hit the mid-Atlantic states, but the far Northeast may dodge some of them.

Regardless of the forecasts and recent mild temperatures, businesses should take precautions to be prepared for the dangers of winter storms that may arise. We recommend everyone stay safe through any storm and heed the warnings from the National Weather Service.

Safeguard Business Continuity

To safeguard your business during winter storms, we recommend that you verify the integrity of your business continuity equipment such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices and surge protectors. We learned from our experience through hurricanes and blizzards that a major challenge faced by businesses during a weather-related disaster or event is the loss of power.

“Take reasonable precautions when winter storms approach. We locate staff out of the area during threatening weather events, buttress our datacenter and check backups,” stated Carl Mazzanti, Vice President and Co-founder of eMazzanti Technologies. “We learned from weather disasters that you need to be up and running as soon as possible. If your business is not stable, it’s nearly impossible to service your customers well.”

Winter storms that instantly kill the power to your computers can likewise instantly damage both hardware and destroy data. UPS and surge protection devices can provide an extra layer of protection against power outages. 

Verify Your UPS

Checking your UPS battery level can give you a general idea of the overall health of the hardware. Smaller UPS devices connected to a computer, usually come with software that tells you how much battery life is left. Larger UPS systems, also known as battery backups, may have power indicators that display similar information.

But don’t trust the accuracy of the lights and software. You should know how the equipment performs during an outage. Periodically unplug the UPS from the wall to test how long the connected hardware runs. It’s normal for your UPS to beep until power is restored.

Check Surge Protectors

Winter Storms Surge ProtectorSurge protectors may fail over time and should also be checked periodically. According to surge protector manufacturers, the red protection light indicates that your surge protector is providing surge protection for your equipment. If the red light is out, it means that a severe surge has damaged the surge protector and a new one should be purchased.

Winter Storms Protection from the Cloud

Major winter storms cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars. In addition to physical damage, a large percentage of businesses suffer staff shortages during snow storms and other bad weather. Often lacking the ability for employees to work remotely, their productivity and customer service suffer. Consequently, many small businesses fail each year due to bad weather.

Fortunately, cloud computing adds protection against snow and cold weather while reducing your IT expenses.

Cloud-hosted business applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) leverage the reliability, redundancy and everywhere access of the Internet to minimize bad weather losses.

Thus, small and midsize businesses maintain operational continuity regardless of the weather with remote access to computer applications and data. Given that worldwide Internet access makes critical IT resources available anywhere and anytime to employees with 99.9% guaranteed uptime.

Winter Storms Stranded

Winter Storms Auto Emergency Kit

Notwithstanding the importance of business continuity, your personal health and safety should be your primary concern. With that in mind, we pass along this recommendation from The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Food and water
  • Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction)
  • Compass and maps
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Plastic bags (for sanitation)

Business Continuity Specialists

Winter storms have the potential to make life difficult for your business, employees and customers. Fortunately, eMazzanti Technologies specializes in business continuity and disaster recovery for small and mid-size businesses.

Whether drawing up a plan to protect your business operations from winter storms, managing IT remotely or planning and implementing your company’s cloud migration, eMazzanti Technologies retains the trained and certified IT experts to help you prosper in all kinds of weather.

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