With each passing month, our critical infrastructures continue to expand, leaving mission-critical professionals with a greater sense of urgency to institute procedures that ensure efficient communication with first responders while building on the lessons learned from past emergencies. It’s more than just learning from our experiences but also acting with effectiveness when we are faced with emergency situations. In much the same way that each disaster alerts us to weaknesses in our energy, water, and communication utilities, the vulnerabilities of our data centers are also highlighted, and every new exposed weakness provides an opportunity for improvement.
As guardians of the nation’s critical infrastructure, we cannot wait for a critical event to occur before we take action. We must be proactive in developing well-vetted plans as well as preparing and rehearsing standard operating procedures. Only a few months ago, Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc across the Northeast. We were extremely lucky that major cities were not under water. Imagine sump pumps being inoperable during a hurricane due to inadequate maintenance or a lack of either utility or back-up power systems. With weather trends showing increases in the frequency and severity of storms, we must develop and perfect our disaster response plans, and more specifically, improve how we collaborate and communicate with first responders.