Is there such a thing as a storm proof online business? I can no longer count the number of typhoons that passed by our country. It is something I have to learn how to live with for the rest of my life. However, there are storms that make a huge impact in our lives and in our business. One that I will never forget is Super typhoon Haiyan that struck our country almost 4 years ago.

Almost half of the year we would have occasional Typhoons in the area, but not classified as Super Typhoons. I have learned the most valuable lessons in life and in business during storms. I’d like to share some of my learning on how we can storm-proof our online businesses.

1. Protect Your Equipment

If you’re running an online business or an online service based business then our laptops, desktops, tablets WiFi routers are our major investments and our major tools too! Protecting them should be our utmost priority. I wrapped them using garbage bags and placed them on a high shelf to make sure it’s not going to be wet or flooded even if our roof blows off. This particular laptop that I use now will be wrapped in plastic and be placed inside my emergency bag.

2. Power Back-Ups

If you are living in an area where power outages normally occur after a storm then you should invest in a power generator. Last year, the power outage in our area lasted for more than a month and greatly affected our lifestyle. It was truly a great help that we were once gifted by one of our clients a power generator during Typhoon Frank in 2007. Make sure that you will also have enough budget to buy gasoline. It is best to gas up the night before the typhoon comes.

If buying a generator is out of your budget then I would suggest working in coffee shops for a while until you get power back. You can also ask a friend who has a generator if you can work at their place and perhaps just contribute some money for the gasoline.

3. Internet Back-Up

Based on my experience connection goes down as soon as the main power is out. It is best to invest in back up internet connection such as USB internet dongles or pocket WiFi’s. When your major internet provider connection goes down, you’d at least have an alternate connection to get in touch with clients and family members.

4. Inform your clients ahead of time

As soon as you heard the news of a typhoon coming, you must inform all of your clients ahead of time. Let them know about the current weather situation and most of all inform them of your backup plan. Give them your contact information where they can contact you in the case of an emergency. Also, make sure to ask them to also prepare an action plan in case you won’t be able to work for a longer period of time. Remember, your absence might also affect their business.
Here’s an email I just sent out to my clients:

Within the next 48 hours, Super Typhoon Ruby with winds and gusts of 305 kph is expected to pass by our province. This is stronger than last year’s Super Typhoon Yolanda. Last year, we lost our roof and our community was devastated.

We have spent the entire morning prepping for the storm. In between, I will do as much as I can to finish all tasks and projects while I still have power and internet connection. Please know that we might lose power and internet connection during and after the storm. We do have a generator in place and I have back up internet in place too! However, just like last year, the connection will be very unstable.

I can assure you that we will do our very best to not let the projects and tasks be affected. However, please also have a backup plan in case we can’t come back online right away. Here’s my mobile number +6392xxxxxxx. You may reach or call me from there.

Please also monitor my FB profile page as I will keep posting updates as the storm happens.
If you’re a believer, please do include our country and my team in your prayers. We need your prayers to shield us from this storm.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Having an online business has been truly a blessing for me and I’m sure for you as well. That is why I feel that we should always be on guard and prepared when storms both literally and figuratively come our way.

Have you experienced something similar in your online business? Share your story in the comments below!