A nor’easter brought trees down on Snyder Dixon’s property.

A nor’easter brought trees down on Snyder Dixon’s property.

“Recreating a database can involve far more than just replacing the hardware. Think of the database as the circulatory system of the salon,” says Erin Snyder Dixon, owner of Extremities Spa Salon in Newport News, Va., who has been through three hurricane situations in the salon. “The database is the current of information: client scheduling and spending cycles, inventory, contacts, marketing, taxes, etc. Interrupting any of these things can severely hinder productivity and profitability.”

Since disasters can strike at any time, Dixon recommends getting in the habit of backing up on-site, in the cloud, and on personal disk drives to prevent long down-times in case of fire, water, or smoke damage.

Here’s what she recommends:

1. Back up everything and store off-site (as well as in the cloud). Cloud-based storage retrieval may be hampered in the case of a disaster. Paper printouts of phone numbers and physical backup drives may be your best bet if phone/cellular/network/cable infrastructures go down. Print out at least a month’s worth of schedules ahead of any major storm. “We had cellular service but no cable, Internet, or landline phone service for weeks,” she notes. Always know how you will retrieve your data. Will the cloud company ship you a physical disk? Several backup methods beat one. A single backup can be damaged or fail.

2. Take pictures of the equipment and know serial numbers to quickly get new equipment. Having the details can mean the difference between a replacement or a slow insurance check.

3. Move sensitive equipment to protected areas. Unplug and cover equipment to protect against water damage.

4. Back up your numbers in your cell phone. Apple and Google have easy backup methods.

5. Enlist the help of others to make phone calls and pass the word should a disaster hit.

6. Have a designated person outside the area to make phone calls should local service get overwhelmed.

7. Be willing to go “old school” until the technology issues are solved. Clients will understand if you can’t process credit cards or pull up records in the short term.

8. Use software such as NEAT to scan contracts and documents for storage. 

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