Comstock's magazine 0419 - April 2019 - Page 83

| D I S A ST E R P R E PA R E D N E S S | While business and building owners must respond quickly to mitigate addition- al damages, the hard truth remains that life — and business — must go on. “Especially in commercial, people need to carry on working and doing their thing, so we’ll have to contain the area so busi- nesses can carry on with their daily lives, and we work behind the scenes,” Camara says. She offers a dialysis center as an ex- ample: “They need people on dialysis to come in the morning and be hooked up to the machines and running the whole day, so we’ll accommodate by working in the evening.” But it’s not just physical property that is at risk during a disaster. Digital data is perhaps most essential to the continuity of a business. Chris Milligan, senior director for sales in the south region for Consolidated Communications, explains, “Some of the data we’ve looked at is astonishing — 93 percent of companies that suffer an IT disaster will file for bankruptcy within a year, and 60 percent can expect to be shut down within six months.” But digital data is, or should be, the easiest to protect and retrieve. “We’re talking about within minutes of a natural disaster being able to turn that customer back up with little to no impact on their business,” Milligan says of the re- trieval process. “animal feces is also a big one, like may- be bats, or if an animal that dies in a wall, which is really hazardous,” she says. Ultimately, Verbaera says, knowing how to prepare and respond to potential disasters has applications beyond the commercial world. Those skills, she says, whether it’s at home, in the theater or in the grocery store, “They’re more relevant than just at your office surroundings.” n BEWARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS It doesn’t necessarily take a record-break- ing wildfire or devastating flood to end a business. According to experts, more of- ten than not it’s the seemingly minor things that lead to catastrophic consequences. “It doesn’t have to be a big disaster to impact your business,” Verbaera says. “I think water damage is probably the worst one because it doesn’t take long for mold to grow, and that’s one that people gener- ally don’t think about.” Camara offers other common prob- lems, such as frozen pipes bursting, or Jordan Venema is a California-based writer who enjoys gin and teaching himself dead lan- guages. He received a master’s of liberal arts from St. John’s College, but swears he’s learned more from his precocious son, Cassian, than he ever did from a book. April 2019 | 83