Natural and unnatural or man-made disasters happen every day, around the clock, somewhere. They can come in the forms of hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, flooding, fire, power surges and failure, destructive computer attacks and viruses / bugs, etc. And regardless of the cause, the results can be the same – devastating.

In the online world, this devastation could literally happen within seconds. One second you can have a web site and the next … zilch, nada, nothing, all gone. If you don’t make necessary backups, you can wave goodbye to your websites, your databases, your scripts, your video clips and everything else that you’ve spent so much time building, amassing, perfecting.

Survival Plan Checklist

In order to be prepared for nearly any type of disaster – be it natural, man-made or any – you need to have some sort of a survival and recovery plan in place. That way, if you are prepared, then you will be more than able to deal with anything that happens.

To begin planning and preparing ahead for any type of disaster, you first need to study your web site operations, taking in-depth notes in a good 3-ring binder for handy reference in the case of disasters. Among the information you’ll need to review is this handy checklist of items:

How you can handle your operations without your equipment and regular electronic files.

  • How long it will normally take to repair related hardware, such as your computer equipment or your hosting server.
  • What your business can do to get through the difficult transition to make ends meet until your equipment and backup data is available once again.
  • What your potential risks for disaster normally are and strive to minimize what you can. Example, you cannot control weather, but you can help combat power outages with backup power supplies and stored data on site that can be retrieved very quickly and easily, like on a mobile hard drive.
  • What you can do to minimize the negative effects of a disaster. For example, you can email your customers or clients to explain to them what had happened.
  • The contact information you have for your recovery help. Make sure you have phone numbers, email, etc. all in one handy place so that you can quickly call to place a work order or drop off your equipment for servicing or have your web site files shifted to a new server.
  • Check your backup files on a regular basis to make sure they are being stored properly and work for you upon reloading. You don’t want to wait until disaster strikes to find out your backup files aren’t formatted correctly and hence are not able to work with your systems.

Coming up next in the backup series of articles, I’ll cover:

  1. What to backup
  2. Where to backup
  3. How to backup
  4. How to restore a backup

So in the meantime, do like the Boy Scouts of America. “Be prepared!”

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