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Christchurch quake a valuable learning experience

08 Sep 2010

Even though the earthquake has struck, aftershocks are still rocking Christchurch and the surrounding areas. And while the majority of damage may have already been done, there are still several things businesses in Christchurch can be doing, says Ian Forrester, Managing Director of New Zealand’s business continuity provider, Plan-b.

“With aftershocks, the facilities and systems that work today may not necessarily remain available,” Forrester said. “For businesses that still operate in the affected region, their short-term focus should be to make sure things don’t get worse. First, they should ensure a business grade back up of their data is taken right away and get it to a safe and secure location.”

Home users also should look at backing up their data (family photographs, movies, music) as well as information about their financial affairs and insurance on computer. “For your home computer, it’s as easy as going to Dick Smith, getting a memory stick and backing up your data.”

Plan-b states that an important part of any business continuity plan is deciding what information people will need urgently, and to put it somewhere (online) people can access it should be building become unsafe or demolished.

Forrester says the Christchurch earthquake is proving a valuable learning experience for Plan-b as well, “While Plan-b is not set up to mitigate the effects of widespread events such as the earthquake, the company has been able to help its customers – not only recovering their data and servers, but even accommodating some in Plan-b’s emergency standby office facilities in Christchurch.”

Speaking about data backup and recovery, Forrester noted, “We’ve definitely seen that those who test and prove their backup and recovery systems, for instance, find it so much easier to get the business back up and running again.”

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