Residents along the Southeastern coastal areas of the United States got a preview of the upcoming hurricane season over the recent Memorial Day weekend as Tropical Storm Beryl lashed the coast with rain and wind. The storm, while thankfully causing little damage, served as a reminder of the need to be prepared as hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th.
The US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration is predicting a normal season this year with nine to 15 tropical storms, four to eight of which are predicted to become hurricanes.
Garda takes hurricane business continuity planning seriously, and we prepare and train our branch personnel and operational teams along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. We have reviewed our procedures and checklists and are ready to implement disaster recovery and redundancy plans in coordination with your business continuity processes and procedures.
Unlike other severe weather events for which we prepare, the unique aspect of a hurricane for business continuity planning is that we have approximately five days’ warning to prepare before a storm. As a tropical storm or hurricane threatens to form, there is a 36-hour window of heightened awareness called a storm watch. While there are varying degrees of risk during a storm watch, there is a significant chance that the center of the watch area will be hit by the storm. Preparation is a must. Once landfall is eminent, the watch becomes a Hurricane warning. At this point, protective measures should already have been taken.
The use of cash increases before, during and after storms and other natural disasters. We are ready to partner with you in your preparations for service and cash availability for your business and customers. We are also focused on collaboration with you to maintain safe operations.
Some of the requests we receive before tropical storms and hurricanes are:
Picking up extra funds from the Federal Reserve
Delivering extra currency such as FedPacks to Bank Branches
Filling ATMs to their maximum capacity
Stopping coin deliveries
If you have a special service request please contact Client Support at 1-877-287-8889 or your Garda Account Representative. We post Emergency Alerts on our website, that will inform you of any locations where we have limited or interrupted service due to the weather, flooding, power outages, or road closures. We update the information whenever conditions change and provide notifications to clients in the target zone when a storm is approaching.
Our information systems are located in data centers in the central area of the United States strategically placed outside the hurricane zone. We also maintain redundant power, generators, and fuel storage throughout all areas of operations as contingency plans are enacted.
As always, the continuity of your operations and the safety of both your staff and ours are a top priority. Timely preparation, frequent communication and good coordination will ensure that we minimize the impact of hurricanes and keep things running smoothly.
Barbara Danzi, CISSP, CIPP, CISM, CISA, is Chief Information Security Officer for Garda Cash Logistics