We hear about them all the time, Disaster Recovery plans. We’re told we need them, those with whom we conduct business may ask to review them. Certain regulatory compliance frameworks require them, as do best practice guidelines.
Some companies throw together some quick guidelines as to “what they will do” in the event of a disaster, while others toil for hours trying to get every detail and contingency correct. Many even contract with outside consultants to obtain the perfect plan realizing the future of their business may depend on it.
If you’re like most, you may not have actually thought too much as to the impact of the word, “DISASTER”. You may think a disaster to you would mean a minor inconvenience, a momentary power outage, a snow storm, or a localized flood. In some cases, they those situations would in fact call for the implementation of your disaster recovery plan, or your business continuity plan, so as to keep the wheels of your company spinning and avoid disruption.
What about the real disasters that have been taking place throughout the country? The one’s that are more than a minor inconvenience. The ones that could potentially wipe out your company, or cause your vendors or customers to take a second guess as to your preparedness after the dust settles?
- 976 tornados in the US in the year 2016
- Hurricane Matthew, 49 fatalities, 2016
- Louisiana Flooding, 13 fatalities, 2016
- West Virginia Flooding, 23 fatalities, 2016
- Mid-Atlantic, Northeast Blizzard 55 fatalities, 2016
The list goes on. California wildfires, mudslides, storms, etc.
Many will think, if disasters of this magnitude strike, I’ll be more worried about myself and my family than anything else. Local and regional business will stop all together. That may be correct. You’d also be correct if you’re thinking that the odds are in your favor that you will not have power, and that cellular phone service will either be interupted, degraded, or eventually cease once the generators that power the cell sites stop working.
At some point you will need to activate your companies Disaster Recovery Plan – or – Business Continuity Plan. You may even want to contact a family member, son, daughter, elderly parent, emergency worker, or out of state relative.
What good is all of this planning, if you cannot activate your plan? There you are, the chips are down. Perhaps flooding, fire, no heat, it’s dark, no phone service, and there’s no way to activate that plan you spent countless hours and dollars working on, and you cannot even contact your family. What’s the one thing you wish you had most, other than 3 wishes and a genie in a bottle? A satellite phone.
Satellite phones, are able make and receive phone calls to any other phone. They can also send and receive text messages. You have the ability to call land lines, cell phones, and other satellite phones. You’ll have peace of mind that loved ones are okay and can contact key managers within your organization shortly after the disaster to plan your next steps, provide help, and assess the state of your business.
This is why key first respondents, FEMA, the national guard, and some military assets utilize satellite phones during disasters and national emergencies. The good news is, you can too, and should.
At our company, all key managers, have a satellite phone. The phone is just slightly larger than a cell phone and has global coverage meaning it will work anywhere from the top of the North Pole, to the bottom of the South Pole. The phone is outfitted in a carrying case with an extra battery and a small solar charging panel as well. Because we have offices throughout the country, should we experience a regionalized disaster, we can communicate back to an office outside of the affected area, and coordinate a response.
Not all satellite phones are created equal. A good setup will make cell phone quality calls, and will have “always on” availability. While some service plans require expensive long term contact, others allow for month-to-month contracts with pricing less than a typical cell phone. With that in mind, the solution is an extremely cost conscious insurance policy against what could happen during a serious emergency.
If your organization would like to know more about emergency satellite communications, or would like to purchase a satellite phone and calling plan, please contact us at [email protected]