One of the things I frequently work with clients on is making sure that their data will be safe in the event of an emergency. Just imagine what would happen in your business or your life if you lost all your data and your key documents. Unless you’re confident that you could re-create everything from scratch, it’s essential to have a strategy for data and information backup and restoration. Here are some ideas for how to do it:
Snap it. For insurance and recordkeeping purposes, you need to have a record of all of your belongings. Start by taking your camcorder or digital camera and going through every space in your office or home, and take snapshots of the contents. I mean open every closet, ever drawer – everything. Download the photos to your computer and store them in a special folder. As your belongings change, make sure to take new photos to keep your record up-to-date.
Data backup. If you have any data on your computer that you value in any way, it’s essential to develop a backup strategy. Most businesses and individuals don’t backup their data regularly, which in our digital age is a very risky thing to do! Backup is really simple with automated tools like MOZY (http://bit.ly/cls-mozy) or Dropbox (http://bit.ly/cls-dropbox), which backup your data to a central server and keep synched copies of your data on all your computers, respectively. Whatever backup strategy you choose, just choose something and do it regularly!
Centralize your docs. In an emergency, you may need access to important documents like lease agreements, insurance papers, deeds and titles, and more. If you need to leave your home or office in a hurry, you won’t generally have time to search your files to gather everything. Use something like the Vital Records PortaVault (http://bit.ly/cls-vitalrecords) to centralize your key documents so that you can grab what you need. You may even want to keep one copy in your office and one copy in your home, so that if you can’t return to one location you can still access your documents.
There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for an emergency at home or at work. Being prepared is all about being ready – and the more ready you are, the better you’ll fare in the event of an emergency.