Take action right now! What every BC/DR professional should be doing to respond to Harvey

Posted by Philip Bigge on August 27, 2017
Philip Bigge

First, on behalf of Ripcord’s employees, we are keeping everyone directly affected by Harvey in Texas in our thoughts.  Now is a time of safety for your family and friends.

For everyone else, this is a call to action.  Even if your company is not located in Southeast Texas, the devastation from this hurricane will have serious impacts that will likely affect the rest of the country.  That ripple could seriously affect your company.  It’s time to do something about it and be a leader for your organization!

Here are the critical Vendor Continuity and Business Continuity points to consider right now:

Vendors and Customers in Southeast Texas

More than likely assessments are currently being made about the impact to your customers in the affected areas. 

However, you ought to be asking more complete questions of your business leaders.  For all vital services that are outsourced, do any have critical vendors in Southeast Texas?  Does your business have failover plans to bring critical processes back in-house?  Do your employees need to come in early or work extra hours to compensate for the loss of critical vendors? What exceptions or changes to processes need to be made for your customers? 

These are questions that need to be asked right now so you can be prepared to continue business throughout the week with minimal disruptions.

What about your Vendor’s Vendors?

During Tropical Storm Allison in Houston and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, critical communications providers went down hard in those cities.  Companies unaffected by these storms, but who relied upon these providers, ended up losing their data and voice communications because their vendor could not provide this critical service.  Consider also the oil and gas shortages that are likely to be an outcome of this disaster and how that will affect logistics for your vendors. 

Now is the time to reach out to your critical vendors, regardless of location in the United States, to ask, could they impacted by vendors going down in Texas?

Is Your Customer Data Safe?

Disasters bring out opportunists who prey on weak security controls and steal data.  You need to know where your data may reside at a third-party vendor.  And, again, ask your critical vendors if the data they are storing for you may be on systems impacted by the storm.  Now is the time to ensure that your vendors in Southeast Texas can and will reclaim and restore your customer data in a secured manner.  System restoration, paper records reclamation and restoration of facilities must be handled by reputable companies that have put their employees through criminal background checks.  Furthermore, you should make sure that your vendors have procedures in place for the secure restoration of critical records and chain of custody for those materials.  It’s your responsibility to ensure that your vendors are protecting your customer data every step of the way.   

Be a Leader (and donate)!

Get going on raising these issues with your business leaders.  Be a pest if you need to.  And first thing on Monday morning, contact the leaders for HR, Marketing, Finance, and those who head philanthropic initiatives to get your company going to aid those in the most need in Texas.  Start a materials donation drive, coordinate giving blood to the Red Cross, and establish a monetary donation fund (abiding by regulations) for the people of Texas who need our help! 

Do you have the strategies in place for this event?

Topics: Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, Disaster Recovery