The nation recently paused to remember the events of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast ten years ago. We at Mail-Gard also remember the impact this storm had on not one, but three of our customers. It was our first multiple declaration event, and we were honored and are proud to have assisted our customers with their disaster recovery plan, which allowed them to continue sending their critical communications.
It was a hectic time. A few of our customers temporarily moved a few employees and their families into the Warminster area to work at the Mail-Gard facility until their workplace and homes back in Louisiana were habitable again. When Hurricane Wilma hit Florida, we were called upon to assist with a fourth declaration. The 2005 hurricane season tested our capabilities and bench strength – and gave us tremendous insight into what companies really need in order to be prepared in the event of a full-scale declaration.
Speaking of bench strength, Mail-Gard has operated a second back-up facility since 2007 to act as a safeguard in case our primary facility faces a critical event. While the risk of a customer’s declaration taking place at the same time our primary facility is experiencing a business disruption is minimal, it is indeed a risk and one which must be accounted for in disaster recovery planning.
There’s No Such Thing as “Too Prepared” with Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Mail-Gard completes several tests of our back up facilities throughout the year, most of the time involving customers who request this specific testing, and other times with Mail-Gard completing standalone testing of our Warminster operations. More and more customers are seeing how important it is that their continuity and disaster recovery vendors have their own recovery plan and have been requesting testing at our second facility. As anyone in the continuity industry will tell you, there is no such thing as being too prepared, and we try to follow that adage with our own disaster recovery plans.
What does this all mean to you? Ask yourself if your print-to-mail recovery vendor is prepared for a disruption to their facility, and how prepared are they really? This question is even more critical if you outsource your print and mail production. Ask to review your outsource vendor’s continuity and recovery plans, and ask to test your work at their recovery facility (whether it’s one of their other locations or a partner vendor). Don’t take your vendor’s word for it. You need to prove the recovery plan will work, since it is ultimately your responsibility, your compliance, your fines and your business.
The 2015 hurricane season has thankfully been a calm one, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way through December. But a natural disaster or business disruption can strike at any time, and often with little warning. Take the steps to ensure that your continuity and disaster recovery plans are as dynamic as they need to be. Need to find a vendor to help? Give Mail-Gard a call.
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