How can we better protect our data during the hurricane season?

A brief discussion on the need to be more vigilant in our data back-up choices in the Caribbean, especially during the hurricane season.


if you read our news roundup for the week ending 10 September, it would be no surprise that a considerable portion of the region’s ICT/tech news published that week was Hurricane Irma: the efforts leading up to, and the aftermath of the system passing through the Caribbean. Sadly, countries such as Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and Saint Martin were devastated by Irma, and residents, policy makers, and the region as a whole, are now beginning to grapple with the recovery and rebuilding effort needed.

Having said this, and as much as we are eager to support with our sister countries that were affected, we all cannot sit on our laurels. There are still two and half months to go before the 2017 hurricane season officially ends. Further, weather experts have predicted a higher than normal season this year, with between 14 and 19 named storms likely. Thanks to Hurricane Jose, we are already at 10 storms.

Long-time readers of ICT Pulse may recall that we have done a few articles on managing one’s tech resources when preparing for hurricanes and other disasters.  Our most important tips focussed on backing up data and ensuring that critical information is protected and safely stored. We are of the view that it bears repeating.

Safely storing secondary backups crucial

If there is anything we should have learned from Hurricane Irma, and the devastation it caused, is that we cannot afford to be naïve about our disaster preparations. For example, backing up data to a secondary location outside your home country, especially for crucial information and to facilitate speedy resumption of operation, ought to be part of our personal/household disaster preparations and our business continuity plans.

Unfortunately, most Caribbean islands tend to fall within the hurricane belt. As a result, they are regularly subjected to those storms., some of which can be severe, and so might not be suitable locations for secondary data storage. However, not all Caribbean countries are considered within the hurricane belt. Those outside of the belt include Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, which are rarely in the path of a hurricane, and some of them, such as Curaçao and Trinidad and Tobago, have large data centres to which backups can be done as needed.

Non-Caribbean alternatives

Having said this, there is also the option to store data outside the region. Many of us already use some of those services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, for our personal needs, However, for larger storage needs, there are several online platforms, such as Amazon Web Services,  that offer a broad range of features and services, along with packages to suit even the most budget-conscious shopper.


Image credit:  Pixabay (Pexels)



  • I think a critical question that should accompany these timely words in the article is: how worth is your data? Or putting it differently, if you know your data is very likely to be lost in the next 10 hours what would you do?

    • Kamutula, Excellent questions!

      They really help us to put into perspective how valuable or data might be, and whether (or not) we have taken sufficient action to keep it safe.

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