Tactical Advice

How Businesses Are Bouncing Back After Hurricane Sandy

The superstorm that rocked the Eastern Seaboard resulted in downtime for many.
How Businesses Are Bouncing Back After Hurricane Sandy
Shops in the Howard Beach neighborhood in Queens, NY, had to deal with flooding after Sandy.

For businesses across the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy proved to be the ultimate test of their disaster recovery plans. Cloud-based companies relished that they were able to remain operational, while companies dependent on onsite or local servers and data centers were forced to mitigate infrastructural damage and data loss.

Learn how a few businesses communicated their recovery efforts to their customers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Lincoln Square Business Improvement District (BID)

New York City’s Lincoln Square Business Improvement District (BID) took to its blog to share information about its recovery efforts. Since the Internet in its main office was down after the storm, the Lincoln Square BID set up a mobile hotspot to accomplish tasks.

The Lincoln Square BID reports that most of its shops and restaurants have begun to re-open, and the resumption of subway service is expected to begin over the next few days.

We recognize that for many businesses Hurricane Sandy has had a devastating effect and that it may take days, if not weeks and months, to get back to normal. The City of New York, with the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, has coordinated a set of services, including information on emergency loans for small, mid and large sized businesses, to assist in recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Nimbo

Kristine Drier works in business development at New York–based cloud solutions company Nimbo. Prior to the storm, Drier posted about the importance of a solid disaster recovery plan on the company’s blog.

In her post she compared her situation with that of her roommate’s. Her roommate’s company was forced to shut down its server room in order to prevent damage and data loss from Hurricane Sandy, while Nimbo remained fully operational because its employees were able to access cloud-hosted e-mail and applications.

Times like these highlight the importance of a solid disaster recovery plan. This summer we wrote about serious flooding in our own office in this blog post. Although the physical damages were significant, we did not lose our most important asset: our data and intellectual property. Companies that have experienced downtime due to natural disasters understand the significance of the cloud in business continuity.

Northstar Consulting Group

New York–based outsourcing sales and marketing firm Northstar Consulting Group (NCG NYC) released details of its disaster recovery plan to employees and suppliers after Hurricane Sandy.

As reported on the NCG NYC’s website, the firm’s disaster recovery plan includes reviewing and prioritizing job roles, reporting damage, securing secondary or offsite office space, ensuring backup data and more.

Bart Yates, CEO for Northstar Consulting Group, has stated that, “we are glad to announce that our office on Wall St, New York City has not suffered significant damage. Our operations will resume as soon as possible. Our Disaster Recovery plan was implemented to ensure that if any significant damage had taken place we would be able to implement our recovery process effectively and efficiently.”

LearnVest

After Hurricane Sandy, LearnVest Founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel e-mailed the personal finance site’s customers to let them know that the team was OK and that operations should continue to run, although with potential downtime.

Dear LearnVesters,

As you all know, Hurricane Sandy affected millions of people on the East Coast, including our NYC-based team. We are extremely fortunate that everyone is okay, and like all East Coasters, we are quickly picking up the pieces to get life back to normal!

We are working hard to keep things running smoothly, but if you do experience some downtime on the site or iPhone app please just try back later.

More than ever, Sandy reminds us why we need a plan to make sure we can literally weather these types of storms. The emotional and financial impact can be devastating.

As always, we are here for you–rain or shine!

Xo,
Alexa & the LearnVest Team

Gawker Media

Gizmodo back up

Known for its take-no-prisoners style of new media journalism, the Gawker family of sites was hit hard by Sandy when the data center hosting its servers was knocked out. But the team didn't sit still, they immediately shifted operations over to Tumblr, where they've been posting for the past week, and kept the news machine rolling.

In an interview with Venture Beat, Gizmodo Editor-in-Chief Joe Brown praised his team's quick thinking in the face of disaster.

“Everyone has stepped up really well,” Brown said. “Within five minutes, it was apparent how we were going to handle it.”

Thankfully, Gawker Media returned to normal today as it was able to migrate all of its content back to the main sites. But it's also keeping its Tumblr sites handy, as the company plans to remain active in the community.

At the very least, Gawker now has a tested and viable backup content management system in Tumblr to fall back on.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters released a “Financial & Risk Customer Advisory” on its website following Hurricane Sandy. The company, which calls itself the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, experienced storm-related power outages and significant damage to its network. However, the majority of its products and services are currently operating normally.

At this time we want to reassure all of our customers that our systems and data centers are operating normally, and we are working with clients through the intermittent connectivity problems. You have our personal commitment that we are doing everything we can to get any impacted client services up and running. We will remain in constant communication with our clients throughout this period and will continue to provide updates via this website and through our standard alert mechanisms within our products.

If you require any assistance, please contact your local Thomson Reuters Support Center or your Thomson Reuters account team.

How did Hurricane Sandy test your organization’s disaster recovery plan?

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About the Author

Anuli Akanegbu

Anuli is a writer and new-media enthusiast who dreams about becoming the sixth Spice Girl. Until then follow her on Google+  or Twitter: @akaanuli.

Ricky Ribeiro

Online Content Manager

Ricky publishes and manages the content on BizTech magazine's web site. He's a writer, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all-around digital guy. You can learn more by following him on Google+ or Twitter:

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