The guy banging on the door yelled, “Get out!” The people inside were startled, but they were being saved, not the victims of a home invasion.

Residents and business owners in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles didn’t get much advance notice. Late Thursday evening they started getting the message, some through news media, some on their cellphones, and some from the person banging on their door, that a small, fast-moving wildfire had just started and was no longer all that small. They needed to leave. Now. (You can lend them a much needed helping hand. Keep reading.)

Too Late

For those who owned the numerous local businesses in that area — food service, manufacturing, medical supply, finance, logistics, retail, hospitality, and more — there was no time to figure out how to safeguard their important business data and implement that solution. There wasn’t even enough time to copy a handful of important files to a flash drive. Either their data was already safe, or it wasn’t.

Many reading this will correctly point out that wildfires don’t happen much where their businesses are located. Fair enough. Not-so-wild fires rarely provide any more advance notice than their wilder cousins. Consider, too, flooding, tornadoes, hardware failure, software bugs, viruses, theft, and that disgruntled employee, just for starters.

So, if there’s no advance warning, when do you figure out how you’re going to safeguard your important business data and implement that solution? How about right now? Every day represents an additional small but real risk that your business will lose all its data.

Good News

The good news: There are plenty of good, high-quality, affordable solutions. Backup is not new territory for folks in IT. It’s a mature service category with good offerings, including for your enterprise. So, sit down with your IT staff or outsourced consultancy and don’t break for pizza until you have a plan and a timeline.

The Most Important Thing of All

What could be more important than safeguarding your business’s crucial data? People have been injured and killed in these wildfires, including the brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect someone else’s life and property. While each fire is a valuable reminder that we all need to take steps to protect our business’s data, it’s important that we keep this in perspective. Pray for the victims and the heroes and give as generously as you can. For this fire, we refer you to the Salvation Army. For disaster relief in general and an impressive list of other endeavors, Symphony Systems supports Convoy of Hope.

Grant Hoover has been providing advance warning and sitting down for only the finest Chicago-style deep dish pizza at Symphony Systems for over 30 years.