Hurricane Preparedness When I was a kid growing up in the Southeastern United States, I spent a lot of time in the back of my Mom’s lime-green Dodge station wagon, accompanying her on her many business trips to Miami, Florida. I used to love it when I got asked to go, because a) it meant I could miss school; and b) it meant I could eat as many of those delicious Florida mangoes as I wanted.

I remember driving back with her once during a hurricane – she thought she could “get ahead of it” and get home to Savannah before it got too bad. Well, she was wrong.

The storm seemed to descend from nowhere, and things got so windy, rainy, and gusty that we had to pull over to the side of the road to wait it out. It was actually very scary as she and I sat huddled together in the back seat, witnessing the awesome powers of nature crash through the world around us.

Suddenly, we heard a loud CRACK, followed by the sound of glass breaking. When I turned around to look behind us, I saw that a mango had crashed through our back windshield, creating a giant, gaping hole. I remember being delighted, as it meant I could eat another of my favorite fruits, but my Mom was pretty upset.

Fast forward an unspecified number of years (no chance I’m divulging my age), and now I am working at SunGard Availability Services. When I read this case study on how a series of 2004 hurricanes had forced Florida Hospital to “wake up” and rethink their disaster recovery capabilities, it brought back this memory for me.

While the hurricanes did not force Florida Hospital into a declaration of disaster, it did force them to face the unpleasant truth that they did not have the staff, or the time, or the expertise in place to meet their recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs/RPOs). Which is why one of the largest healthcare providers in the entire state turned to SunGard Availability Services for help. In particular, they are now relying on SunGard’s proven expertise to manage all of the aspects associated with testing and recovering their data in the event of a disaster (our “Managed Recovery Program”).

Now that I’m a Mom, I’m actually somewhat appalled at the risk my mother took with me. While I love the idea of mangoes flying unbidden into my kid’s lap, I would never drive home during a hurricane, with or without her. So I’m glad Florida Hospital looked themselves in the mirror and figured it out; it shows a greatness of vision, I think, as well as the wisdom to take responsibility for their destiny and the willingness to take concrete actions to fortify their future.


You can’t predict a disaster, but you can decide how prepared you’ll be.  To help our customers keep their systems, business processes and people in operation in the face of the increasing threat presented by hurricane seasons, we’ve developed a free Hurricane Planning Toolkit—available now, for a limited time.  Download the FREE Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit 


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