Extreme weather is occurring at an alarmingly increased rate, found a new UN study reported on by Reuters. In the past 10 years, disastrous weather such as heat-waves and floods have occurred twice as often compared to the previous 20 years.
The study noted that the crises have been occurring almost daily, with an average of 335 cases of extreme weather every year since 2005.
“While scientists cannot calculate what percentage of this rise is due to climate change, predictions of more extreme weather in future almost certainly mean that we will witness a continued upward trend in weather-related disasters in the decades ahead,” said the report, according to Reuters.
The U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, or the UNISDR, projected that natural disasters are responsible for global losses of up to $300 billion annually. The U.S. averaged the highest number of weather disasters in the last 10 years with a total of 472. China fell second with 441 and India took the third place spot with 288 weather-related tragedies.
Think smart with data protection precautions
The alarming takeaway from the report is that these weather catastrophes have no intention of slowing down. With this in mind, businesses, now more than ever, should be safeguarding important information with data protection.
Of course, it seems somewhat absurd to think of business needs in these times of crisis. However, the notion is a lot less ludicrous when you consider the UN definition of a disaster. The report categorizes a weather disaster rather broadly, from an event where 10 or more people or killed to an occurrence in which 100 people are affected.
In more minor events, your company will likely be expected to continue on with business as usual. Which bring us back to our main point: the necessity for backed up data and solid disaster recovery plans.
Our last post covered how to create disaster recovery plans in depth, but training and exercise measures are equally important when tackling these disaster scenarios. The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a comprehensive guide for IT professionals dealing with recovery plans. While the report provides experts with recommendations, the outlines provide a great jumping-off point for companies looking to ensure their disaster recovery plans go off without a hitch.
“Preparation is a key factor in the successes or failures of any company.”
Companies can conduct two key forms of exercises: tabletop and functional. Tabletop exercises revolve around company discussions. The report explains that these activities usually involve meetings where staffers discuss their roles in disaster scenarios. Often times, these group meetings involve a facilitator who can present participants with a hypothetical scenario. This prompts discussion regarding roles for data protections, office communication and other relevant responsibilities. These are usually easier exercises to conduct than their functional equivalents, as there are no resources required.
Functional exercises, as we’re sure you’ve guessed by now, are a little more elaborate. The complexity is entirely dependent on the company, but these activities usually require more in-depth role-playing. A facilitator will stimulate a disaster-stricken environment and the relevant parties will need to perform their designated tasks under this pressure. These activities essentially take tabletop exercises to the next level with heavier stimulation and actual execution of expected tasks.
The NIST suggests companies perform these exercises periodically, the more often the better. Preparation is a key factor in the successes or failures of any company. A strong disaster recovery plan paired with a leading cloud service provider for ample data protection can help ensure you company barely misses a beat after a weather-related incident.