While the yearly average for Atlantic named storms is 12, the 2018 hurricane season saw 15!
Can you recall more than Hurricanes Florence and Michael? Probably not, and that’s okay. Like most any other year, 2018 consisted of mostly fast, relatively weak storms forming out where nobody but boat captains and meteorologist paid them any mind. And while hurricanes are nothing new in coastal regions such as ours, it is easy to forget we live in a coastal community where a destructive hurricane is possible, until one is rattling our shutters.
Hurricane Michael was initially thought to be a much less powerful Category 3 storm that wouldn’t bother most locals. Garner IT enacted our hurricane preparedness plan, both internally and for our clients, but we did not expect what was coming…
Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm – the most powerful hurricane to ever impact the area, as well as one of the strongest storms to ever hit the United States. The storm sprinted along, carving a path of destruction through Mexico Beach and Panama City, wiping out entire neighborhoods, destroying local communications, power, and other infrastructure. A month after the storm, the power grid still hadn’t been fully restored, and cell connectivity was practically inexistent in some areas.
Whether or not your company depended on technology before the storm, the staggering destructive wrath of Hurricane Michael likely means you will count on technology at some point to help on the path to recovery. Moreover, as we’ve learned new lessons with each storm, our response in the aftermath evolves.
The primary lesson learned from Michael is to minimize risk ahead of time. The best-prepared businesses take steps well before hurricanes, or other disasters hit – they assess risks, establish relationships with other companies critical to operations, and take steps to protect essential data. After a storm has hit, this work becomes much more difficult. We could argue this is not a new lesson, but the point was driven home in October 2018.
We learned quite a few lessons during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, and hopefully, we can use this blog series over the next few weeks as a guide to get ready for storms in the future.