BOCA RATON, Fla. – If you weren’t sure about the impact of disasters on business operations a year ago, you should be now.

“This past fall, Hurricane Sandy provided lessons for all of us and demonstrated the value of good disaster recovery and business continuity plans,’’ said Ron DeCicco, Chief Executive Officer, of Pershing, on Tuesday at the SIFMA OPS 2013 event in Florida.

The BNY Mellon company provides trade execution, clearing and settlement, and custody services for hundreds of customers, with 5.5 million investor accounts and $1 trillion in assets. It also provides technology for broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, hedge funds and investment funds.

Sandy “highlighted the importance of having data centers in geographically diverse locations,’’ DeCicco said at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association 2013 Operations Conference here. “Multiple active data centers now are no longer a luxury, but a requirement.’’ <<

Capital markets firms that only had data centers in New York and New Jersey found themselves vulnerable when the hurricane came through. “Geographically dispersed operations are really a big help,’’ he said. Pershing came through “pretty much unscathed,’’ he said. Being in just, say, Jersey City, “would have made it a lot more difficult.’’

He says operations managers should:

  • Undertake “diligent root cause analysis” in their disaster recovery and business continuity plans, to make sure they “remain resilient.’’
  • Make sure workers can effectively work at home.
  • Invest in generators, even at offices, in case power should go out.
  • Work out, in advance, contingency supplies of fuel, for those generators, before needed.
  • Make sure adequate means of communicating with employees and customers are in place, before the next storm hits.

This story originally appeared at Securities Technology Monitor.

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