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Monday, 3 February 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

The recent torrential rain has caused major problems for households but even more so for businesses. Rivers have burst their banks and sea defences have been breached.  Businesses that have computer systems damaged by flood water may have additional problems for data recovery, particularly when battery back-up systems and data media have been put out of action by water.

Most businesses will have some form of business continuity plan in place and the conditions will have tested these extensively.  Disaster recovery plans for IT will also have been put into action.

Some of the precautions I would have expected to be used were not always present:

  • Computer equipment should not be kept on the floor in flood prone areas;
  • Frequent back ups of  data should be made;
  • Back up media should be kept off site
  • Server images should be taken to allow swift recovery from failures;
  • Where possible, electrical sockets should be raised from floor level to mid wall level;
  • Ground floor businesses should consider air brick covers to prevent water entering;  
  • Sand bags or water sealing devices to stop water entry;
  • Ensure company vehicles are parked on higher ground when flood warnings are issued;
  • Instruct company car drivers that flooded roads are not to be driven into, unless the water level can be seen.  30 inches of water can cause severe damage to vehicles;
  • Fast moving water of 30 inches can sweep a vehicle away;
  • Check that insurance policies cover flood damage;
  • Put a business continuity/disaster recovery Standard into place (ISO 22301 or the information security Standard ISO 27001, which includes a clause for Business Continuity

It is always easy to be wise after the event, but it pays to be proactive; even if this is for next time.

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