It is hard not to get excited about the start of summer. With its warm weather and longer days, summer brings with it a sense of freedom and happiness that is greatly anticipated after the harsh cold and endless nights of winter. However, summer does not just bring along sunshine and smiles. It also brings strong storms – lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. – that can severely disrupt businesses and their technological infrastructure.

"40% of small businesses won't reopen after being affected by a weather-related disaster."

With extreme weather on its way, businesses need to get a jump start on their disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Enterprises can be severely affected by natural disasters, leading to lost revenue and major repair costs. Storms can have such a negative effect on companies that 40 percent of small businesses will not reopen after being affected by a weather-related disaster this year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Luckily, organizations with a strong business continuity solution in place can weather the storm and come out just as well as they went in. Here are a few tips to help enterprises put together the best disaster recovery plan possible:

Businesses need to put recovery plans in place before severe weather disrupts operations.Businesses need to put recovery plans in place before severe weather disrupts operations.

Understand how a disruption will affect different assets
There are a variety of different variables that must be considered when putting a business continuity plan in place. How will employees access company programs and files? What information is critical? Who needs to be made aware of a service disruption or office closure? All of these things and much more must be addressed by a recovery plan.

In a severe weather event, the majority of employees will be accessing files remotely, so a cloud-based solution is the most reliable option to keep operations running smoothly. A cloud disaster recovery as a service option will keep business going after a disruption, but not all files will be available immediately, nor should they be. Non-essential data should be given low priority in DR solutions, saving space for files crucial to daily operations. Utilizing the cloud will also provide administrators a way to contact employees, vendors and any other necessary personnel that the office has experienced a disruption.

Test your plan beforehand
It is important to identify any problems or gaps in your DR plan before it needs to be put to use so any issues can be fixed. Scheduling periodic tests ensures the most reliable business continuity possible. Make sure to test each necessary system – phones, computers, data recovery, servers, etc. – separately and as a whole to discover any pain points before the real thing happens.

Work with a trusted industry partner
Putting a reliable DR plan in place can be difficult, but working with a knowledgeable service provider can make everything run smoothly. Companies like ISG Technology offer cloud-based solutions customized for the client that address the specific needs of each organization. ISG's expert staff take care of the maintenance required to keep a DRaaS solution running, letting users focus on other critical functions in times of emergency. Not only is ISG's staff prepared to keep your business running during extreme weather, but its infrastructure is ready as well. ISG's Missouri data center is located within a limestone bunker, shielding it from practically every kind of extreme weather event that might come its way. With such a strong network of facilities and staff, disaster recovery services from ISG are the most reliable choice to keep enterprises running no matter what mother nature brings.