Hurricane season can spell trouble if you are not prepared for it, whether you live on a coast or inland. Mostly around September and October, the peak hurricane season runs. So, it won’t be a bad suggestion to have a review of your commercial insurance coverage, and healthcare IT so as to ensure you don’t have any gaps during such period.
If a hurricane were to hit, the insurance information institute would share information on insurance coverage and other tips to help keep your healthcare IT center running smoothly. Although there are different warnings about how a hurricane can be very disastrous, most people tend to turn a blind eye to storm warnings, as they believe they already have a secure business continuity backup in place.
To be extremely cautious at all times is essential during such periods. Especially when up to four unusually active hurricanes have been predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Thus, you just cannot afford not to hurricane-proof your disaster recovery plan. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, about 11 to 17 tropical storms have been forecasted by the NOAA.
Although the hurricane season has officially begun, there is no cause for alarm, because there are certain tips to help guide your business during hurricane season. These include;
Your Backup Site Should Be Secured
If you plan to continue your operations, your DR plans should also include another backup site, in addition to a secondary location for data storage. During periods when a hurricane hits, since your backup sites will likely be occupied by employees in your healthcare IT department, dedicated space is essential.
The redundancy of utilities at your DR site should also be taking into consideration, thus making sure there is enough power, fiber carriers and any other thing you will need to remain operational.
A DR Drill Should Be Scheduled
A significant number of medical centers do not test their plan as often as they should despite having a DR plan. It is, however, advisable that you conduct a DR drill in your healthcare IT centers if you among those who do not have.
It is imperative to always test your plan. Within a short while, many things can change in your plan including systems updates, employee turnover, infrastructure upgrades and much more. The important thing about scheduling your DR drill is such that, you will be able to make sure each staff knows their roles and that all critical systems are covered.
Ensure Your Staffs Are Prepared
The evacuation procedures as well as responsibilities in the DR process should be known by each staff in your hospital. Even better, try to coordinate with HR to ensure everyone in your organization has a better understanding of what plans you have for the hurricane season and possible actions you are going to be taking.
It is also advisable to set up meetings with your DR teams. Training for new team members should be scheduled.
Your DR’s Plan Appendix Should Be Updated
Ensure your DR’s plan appendix is up to date. It should have an appendix with contact information, systems inventory information and SLAs. Try as much as possible to also go through all critical information in your DR plan and include any other relevant data.