Earlier this week the Midwest experienced sweeping tornadoes, and while the aftermath of such events is primarily focused on helping homeowners get back on their feet, many construction business owners in the areas affected also have big task ahead of them—get their business up and running as quickly as possible to help rebuild the cities. But how do you do that if your IT systems are down?

From Hurricane Sandy in the East, to the floods in the mountains, to the tornadoes in the Midwest, natural disasters can strike at anytime and anywhere and wreak havoc on servers and in-house IT systems. What’s more, the IBHS (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety), www.ibhs.org, Richburg, S.C., says one in four businesses are forced to close permanently because of a disaster. As such, having a plan in place will help businesses recover quickly.

Business owners and IT managers can prepare by looking at DR (disaster recovery) and determining the best strategy for situations of emergency. The IBHS recommends considering the following points: do you have contact information for employees, suppliers, and vendors; do you have plans for resuming critical business functions; how is your data protected; how will you fulfill your financial objectives; and do you have sufficient insurance coverage?

These days, many IT solutions are hosted in the cloud, meaning the technology provider replicates the data, ensuring the customer can have access to data when they need it. While many construction businesses have moved some systems to the cloud, others are still hosted on servers in the office and need to have a DR plan for that data.

In October, Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., and EVault, www.evault.com, San Francisco, Calif., announced a partnership to offer a solution for DR to Viewpoint’s on-premise customers.

The solution, Viewpoint For Disaster Recovery Powered by EVault, is a managed desktop application that continuously replicates data to cloud-based servers that are accessible quickly if an onsite server goes down. This ensures that data can be accessed so business can resume as quickly as possible.

Viewpoint Construction Software says with this solution the data is accessible in a matter of hours, allowing businesses to get up and running very quickly.

For the construction industry, having a DR plan in place can make a big difference in case of a crisis. Being able to access data for critical business functions means the company can go back to work, helping to rebuild the towns that were hit by the natural disaster.