Hurricane Season USVI

 

Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends on November 30. During this tumultuous five-month period, the US Virgin Islands (USVI), SW Florida, and Puerto Rico are all vulnerable to hurricanes. Due to ongoing recent storm activity in the US Virgin Islands over the last few years, businesses in the healthcare, legal, manufacturing, travel, accounting, hospitality, and retail industries have turned to IT companies to help them maintain business continuity after the storms have passed.

Granted, when you arrive back to your business location and your building is heavily damaged or no longer existent, opening your doors to customers may not be possible immediately. However, most business owners in the fields we mentioned above think beyond the physical grounds from which they operate. There are other areas of their business that they care as much about as the brick and mortar.

Assessing Your Business Vulnerability During Hurricane Season

IT companies in the U.S. Virgin Islands including Pulse Tech are now rethinking how to help companies prepare for hurricane season. This requires using a more proactive approach that involves targeting the core components of a business and determining what strategies we employ to preserve these components.

For most companies, the most crucial areas of concern before, during, or after a hurricane include

Communication

This is the top priority for most companies in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Business owners must be able to communicate with anyone associated with their business after a hurricane such as employees, business partners, customers, insurance companies, and contractors, as well as emergency crews.

IT companies can provide multiple channels for companies to communicate to reach essential contacts. How can IT companies ensure that their clients can communicate after a hurricane? What technology is available to foster strong communication? These are questions that IT providers must answer to prepare business owners for severe weather? Some solutions may include:

  • Satellite phones
  • Cloud-based platforms
  • VoIP technology
  • Secondary satellite connections (VSAT)
  • First responder devices
  • Fleet or asset tracking
  • Website posting

Pulse technology can provide some or all of this technology to help business owners prepare for the worst.

Data Storage and Backup

Data preservation is also important to business owners. Companies in all industries should have a plan for storing and retrieving data off-site from this point forward. In-house servers and hardware are vulnerable to hurricanes and other disasters. They no longer provide any type of protection for a company’s most valuable data and digital assets.

The most practical and reliable solution for data storage and retrieval is to move all data to an offsite virtual server, A.K.A., a cloud platform. Cloud services allow companies to continue running their business and serve their customers — at least in part — during hurricane recovery and cleanup.

All team members in a company can communicate, collaborate, contact customers, and perform a wide range of tasks from the cloud. They can also retrieve relevant documents, use apps, and submit valuable information as needed during an emergency. If all employees in a company have to evacuate the U.S. Virgin Islands, they still have secure access to the cloud no matter where they go for shelter.

The cloud also allows IT companies to monitor and manage data for any company that has been affected by a hurricane. If a business owner does not have any access to the cloud, they can feel confident that their IT provider has everything taken care of.

Continuity

Even if a business has to shut down its physical location, some processes and services can continue thanks to the cloud. To ensure business continuity, IT companies in the US Virgin Islands must develop an emergency strategy with each client before hurricane season starts.

Some IT strategies that a technology company can help government agencies and businesses develop may include:

  • Providing temporary housing for employees. Shelters and bunkers are currently located at Sugar Bay or Frenchmen’s Reef.
  • Internal communications for updating employees who are in the path of the storm.
  • Assistance for customers, business partners, vendors, and any other entities related to the businesses.
  • Advanced communications and warnings for all residents and businesses in the path of the storm. Communication includes alternative mobile numbers or forms of contact.
  • Pre-determined policies, protocols, and processes regarding turnaround times, invoice processing, scheduled service visits and other activities likely to be affected by the storm.
  • Direct customer service through a strategic supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor/retailer and then to the customer.
  • Deploying drone technology and aerial services that allow business owners and other organizations to assess hurricane damage or perform other tasks.

Rethinking Standards and Practices for Hurricane Season Preparation

Thankfully, technology is available for IT companies to help businesses in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and SW Florida during hurricane season.

Our objective now should be to rethink how we utilize the technology to improve our hurricane preparedness and response. This requires education and providing solutions that make sense to business owners and government agencies in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Pulse Technology is fulfilling its commitment to helping our clients understand the value of implementing the technology and then maximizing its efficiency.

If we focus on enhancing our technology and communications, we can achieve the following goals:

  • Create more local jobs
  • Improve business training
  • Increase business recruitment
  • Expand & develop local entrepreneurs
  • Consult business owners to launch new businesses
  • Prepare the people of USVI to prepare for hurricane season
  • Keep businesses operating after the storm to maintain the local economy

About Pulse Technology

James Ritter is the Founder and CEO of Pulse Technology Solutions of the Islands based in St. Thomas along with offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Florida. He along with the rest of our IT team at Pulse Tech is committed to helping businesses in these survive and thrive during the hurricane season. We work with all types of companies and agencies in the public sector.

If you are looking for innovative ways to keep your business secure during hurricane season, then contact us today at 239.676.6679 for a complimentary initial technology assessment. You can also message us on our contact page.