California Wildfire - Why business continuity planning is so important for your business - IT Support Shackleton Technologies, Dundee, Tayside and Angus

California Wild Fires – The Devastating Impact

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Written by Shackleton Technologies

California Wild Fires

The California wildfires of 2018 were the worst on record. The region experienced the most destructive fires in its history, with almost 8,000 separate fires burning simultaneously, covering nearly 2 million acres of land, devouring everything in their path.

Research published in August 2018, predicted an increase in the frequency of fires in the area due to the number of dead and fallen trees acting as fuel, combined with the effects of climate change and there’s no sign of the risk abating anytime soon.

The damage caused was massive in scale, with thousands of homes and businesses being destroyed, in addition to the record number of lives lost.

Many of the homes will be rebuilt, but many of the businesses affected will never recover.

Business Continuity Planning

Would effective Business Continuity Planning have been able to save some companies from this natural disaster? It’s difficult to say with nature but implementing appropriate procedures to mitigate the risk is an approach which all business should undertake.

We see this especially when it comes to cyber security. Businesses all over the world live with the risk of computer viruses and hackers every day. The variety and the sheer number of methods the bad guys use, to steal, manipulate and destroy our business data is mind-boggling. Businesses that are alert to such risks, take time to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect them and their data.

Proper business continuity planning can save businesses not just from hackers but also from nature when it shows its raw power.  It can save jobs and protect livelihoods that support people to rebuild their lives in the event of a disaster.

Lessons from Nature

Is there a lesson from nature about proper business continuity planning? The Giant Sequoia or California Redwood, is a massive tree and one of the largest and heaviest organisms that has ever existed. It is a native of the fire struck region.

General Sherman is a sequoia of gargantuan proportions. It is not only the biggest living tree and at over 2000 years old, one of the oldest living things, but it’s also the largest living organism. It is a sequoia of gargantuan proportions. Some of its branches are over 7 feet in diameter; it is enormous.

It’s hard to imagine how many wildfires this phenomenal, ancient tree has survived but survive it does.

So, how does General Sherman manage to do it?

Well, it has layers of protection in place. Its bark is several inches thick and almost spongey in texture. It has evolved these sacrificial layers to protect the heartwood from the regions notorious fires, ensuring it can set about rebuilding and continuing to grow once the danger has passed. While the fires might scar and burn the sequoia, they rarely breach the defence the tree has in place and so it survives, time after time.

You could argue that experience has taught this remarkable tree to learn, to evolve, to develop its very own Business Continuity Plan. Its “plan” was severely tested this year.

What to do next?

Businesses all over the world should learn from the giant sequoia’s experience. Be prepared. Plan for possible disasters in advance. Business Continuity Planning helps ensure that businesses who prepare correctly, can and do recover from almost anything that comes their way.

More businesses should aim to be like the giant sequoia, with a difficult to penetrate layered level of protection all around them. They should also have a professionally developed Business Continuity Plan in place and then test it on a regular basis!

The next step you take might determine how or if your business survives in the event of a disaster, so take it seriously and contact your IT provider today.

To evolve your Business Continuity Planning contact Shackleton today.