It’s been a year since a historically-devastating Thursday night ice storm gripped northern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, and southern Maine.  Though the ice eventually melted, down trees and damaged power infrastructure robbed several thousand individuals and businesses of power—and customers of these businesses still demanded adequate and prompt service.

Just as pandemic planning may have seemed abstract, vague, and useless until enterprises needed to amend human resources policies and supply chain procedures in response to this year’s H1N1 flu outbreak, traditional business continuity/disaster recovery planning is similarly abstract until it is actually tested in a live environment.  A case in point is the now-notorious utility company Unitil, who, according to a (N.H.) Union Leader article, will be investigated by the public sector for its inability to restore power to residents for over half a month in some cases.

Your enterprise’s disaster recovery plan must be contingent on what is most crucial to your business and what services you must provide immediately to your customers.  If your business is dependent on having adequate staffing in times of disaster, the plan should include how to cope with extreme circumstances by adding and dispatching additional staff quickly so that business can be delivered.  If your business relies largely on the available of technology, like many of our customers, the restoration of that technology in a timely fashion is a top priority.  This priority should be reflected explicitly and appropriately in your business continuity plan.  This should take into consideration leveraging current technology and outsourcing relationships, both of which are outlined in more detail in this IBM whitepaper.

GraVoc Associates, Inc. is a full-service technology consulting firm located just outside of Boston in Peabody, MA.  GraVoc has served Greater Boston, New England, and beyond for over fifteen years in the fields of information systems, information security, and professional services.  GraVoc’s disaster recovery/business continuity consulting has served, among other clients, many clients in the highly-regulated financial services industry, which provides a high standard for business continuity compliance.  For more information, please visit the GraVoc website at

More information on the anniversary of the 2008 ice storm will be made available on the GraVoc News Blog,, on Thursday December 17th.

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