It is a tough week for a lot of East Coast small business entrepreneurs, and our sympathies are with everyone. There are few greater challenges than facing the aftermath of a natural disaster. Forbes.com has put together a list of helpful resources for small business owners who are struggling to get operations back up and running. We hope that sharing this information will be of some use to someone you know.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of companies will be reexamining their disaster recovery plans. Some brands have found themselves more vulnerable than they anticipated. A number of prominent New York blogs went down as data centers were flooded and backup generators failed. Gawker and the Huffington Post were two sites that were affected, amongst many, as their data centers experienced severe flooding.

As reported on the SFgate.com blog, New York Governer Andrew Cuomo is calling for a rebuilding of city infrastructure to provide better protection from extreme weather events like Sandy. While he didn’t provide specifics, he points out that existing systems will not suffice anymore.

“I’m hopeful that not only will we rebuild this city and metropolitan area but use this as an opportunity to build it back smarter. There have been a series of extreme weather events. That is not a political statement; that is a factual statement. Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” said Cuomo. “We have a new reality when it comes to these weather patterns; we have an old infrastructure, we have old systems. That is not a good combination and that is one of the lessons I will take from this, personally.”

Following Hurricane Sandy, business owners, too, will be examining their IT systems and infrastructure in order to improve disaster preparedness. For some, this may be a matter of locating generators somewhere besides the basement and backing up frequently to ensure proper data storage.

For others, cloud computing may turn out to be the right alternative. With cloud computing, data is stored at a variety of locations, decreasing a company’s vulnerability to a disaster in one geographic area. The cloud computing advantage is that employees can access information anytime and anywhere an internet connection is available–which means they can often work from home more easily.

Of course, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many businesses and homes in New York have no internet, cable access, and in many cases no power–in which case little can be done to improve access until service providers can get things back up and running.

That said, as we look to the future and attempt to apply better and better disaster preparedness, business owners will want to look beyond their local servers and systems. Just knowing that one’s data is stored remotely, in the cloud, can be an enormous source of comfort and a distinct advantage when it’s finally possible to get back to business.

We’re happy to give you a complimentary consultation over the phone, if you’d like to learn more about cloud computing alternatives. Drop us an email or give a call to 415-329-5526 or 510-864-1965.

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