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Northeast Small Businesses Still Aren't Prepared for Disaster

backup button, cloud backup
Tri-state area small businesses believe another natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy will strike again, but many aren’t fully prepared to recover from the potential data loss. / Credit: Backup button image via Shutterstock

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the Northeast. Despite the billions of dollars in damage caused by last year's storm, many businesses in one of the most affected areas are still unprepared for a similar disaster. A new survey by cloud solutions firm Carbonite found that less than a quarter of small business owners in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut feel ready if another storm strikes.

For many small businesses affected by Sandy, the two biggest sources of lost profit were the downtime between the storm and the time they could reopen for business, and data loss because their systems weren't backed up. Half of Carbonite's survey respondents believe that their businesses will be affected by a natural disaster again in the near future, but some haven't taken the proper measures to ensure that they won't have a repeat of Sandy's damage.

While most small businesses do have some sort of electronic backup system in place, the survey found that more than 60 percent only used on-site methods such as external hard drives and servers that would be damaged in the event of a natural disaster. Survey respondents said it would take them an average of 16 days to re-create or recover lost files, and about 30 percent said they would never be able to recover their data if it were lost.

[Disaster Recovery Tips for Small Businesses]

More than one-third of business owners surveyed told Carbonite they don't back up their data because they have all the files they need on their computer, and another 20 percent said that backups are too time-consuming and costly. However, if local computers are damaged or destroyed, so are the data that's stored on them. Carbonite strongly recommends backing up all business data offsite to keep files out of harm's way.

"For those who consider data to be at the heart of their organization, backing up data can mean the difference between an inconvenience and the end of business altogether," said Megan Wittenberger of Carbonite.

This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research for Carbonite. Results were based on the responses of 100 small business owners in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut).

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.