With an extended storm expected to trigger the worst flooding in decades across densely-populated areas along the Northeast U.S. coast, owners of advisory firms by now should have spoken with their IT consultant or staff IT manager about what was being done to minimize business disruption from the storm. RIAs by now should have started implementing their disaster recovery plans.
I posted to Advisor Products' blog about precautions taken by my company to protect internal systems and prevent disruption to advisor websites and client portals.
If you are an Advisor Products client, please feel free to copy from that post or this one to write a notification to your clients. Here are some last-minute ideas for advisors to prepare for Sandy and communicate with clients, employees, and partners.
This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only
- Power Down Internal Network. Even if you have backup power supplies, they probably won’t last more than a few hours. A controlled shutdown eliminates the risk of damage to servers from a sudden shutdown. If you’re running Microsoft Exchange, CRM, portfolio management software or other network software in your office, shut them down and reboot them after the worst has passed. If you suffer an extended power outage, you can move your equipment.
- Disaster Recovery Plan. Review your disaster recovery (DR) plan and pull language from there into an email and blog post informing clients about your DR plan.
- Precautions Taken By Vendors. Advisor Products just posted a blog about precautions we have taken to disruption to advisor websites and client vaults. Please feel free to use that text if you are an Advisor Products client, and also use notices from your other vendors. Show clients that you have selected vendors carefully and are proactively taking steps to prepare for the storm.
- How Will They Reach You? Let clients and partners know what numbers to call to reach your company and which people in your firm will be available.
- Use Social Networking. If you have been waiting for an occasion to use social media, this is it. Let clients know that which social media networks they can track to stay updated on how the storm is affecting your business and their access to accounts.
- An Opportunity For RIA Owners. This is a chance for some of your staff to step up to keep clients informed during a weather event. Next time, it could be a financial event. Empower and encourage employees you trust to post status updates and updates to your company blog and social network pages. Train clients follow you on social media during crisis.
- Charge Batteries. Charge your phone and computer. Be sure you have a car charger.
- Download A Battery App. Whether you own an iPhone, Android or Windows phone, go to the app store and search "battery" to find apps that will manage your power settings efficiently and make your battery last longer.
- Take Notes. While you are going through this storm, keep notes about what you did wrong, and note in bold must be fixed next time.
Please share ideas to add to this list. I'll come up with more and will be posting them here during the storm.