Preparing your Business Technology for A Hurricane?

70% of businesses that lose their data quickly go out of business. 43% of companies never recover after a disaster. Those statistics are scary. If you want to ensure your organization is not included in these statistics, here are some things you can do

70% of businesses that lose their data quickly go out of business. 43% of companies never recover after a disaster.

Those statistics are scary. If you want to ensure your organization is not included in these statistics, here are some things you can do.

For a Hurricane Watch

Upon the declaration of a hurricane watch, you should take these initial precautionary steps:

  • Backup and Secure Data Files – Your data files are valued information assets. If you have access to a network File Server, it is recommended you copy critical information files to the server. Please limit file server use to data files only. You do not need to copy programs or the operating system or, otherwise, backup your entire workstation. Programs and the OS can be easily restored, but the data cannot! If you don’t have access to a file server or network, backup critical files. Be sure to carefully label or note the contents of the backup and test it to make sure the contents can be read again. The backup copy should be stored in an alternate, secure location in the event your office or storage location sustains extensive damage. If you use a laptop, be prepared to take the system home or to a shelter with you.
  • Prepare to Store and Protect Computer and Other Electronics – Clear space in your office/area that will allow you to move computers away from windows and up off of the floor; preferably towards the center of a room. Locate the best place/method for unplugging the unit. This may mean unplugging from the back of the computer if the wall outlet is inaccessible. Make some notes or drawings to yourself about where things are connected to your computer. I.e., printer, monitor, power, network, keyboard and mouse. Label your cables!

For a Hurricane Warning

  • Finish Updating Data and Secure Documents – Undoubtedly, you will have some data and information in paper form that you will not have time to update/enter into your server or other online information systems. Make sure this information is accurately noted and stored in a safe place, preferably in a file cabinet or desk drawer two feet above the floor. Use a heavy clip to keep papers/folders together.
  • Computer Storage – As a last step, your computer should be shut down properly and unplugged from the wall outlet. Do the same for the monitor and all peripherals such as printers, scanners, and speakers. Tape any notes you made concerning connections to the computer or otherwise secure them for future reference. Move the computer and peripherals away from windows and doors, and towards the center of the room. The equipment should be securely supported at least two feet from the floor and covered with plastic bags or sheeting provided by physical plant operations staff. Do not cover equipment that is plugged in or powered on.
  • Take Backups – If you have not already done so, put your critical files backups with your personal belongings and be prepared to take them with you when you leave.

Hurricane Recovery

These steps should be taken to resume normal computer operation after returning to work:

  • Initiate Damage Assessment Procedures – Take note of the condition of the computer equipment. If it is visibly damaged or appears to be wet, do not plug the equipment in or turn it on.
  • Verify Electrical Integrity – Computer equipment should not be turned on if electrical power is unstable.
  • Verify Network Service Availability – Central services such as network connectivity, network file servers, or email servers may not be available.
  • Verify Proper Operation – Return the computer to its original location and reattach all peripherals. Plug in all power cords and turn the computer on. Take note of error messages and write them down.

Got questions? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that we get during inclement weather:

  1. If my building has no power, will my auto-attendant greeting still answer and let my customers know our business is currently closed due to the storm?
    1. If your building has no power, and you do not have long term battery backup or generator solutions in place, your phone system and servers will not be working and the auto-attendant and other voice applications will not be in service.
  2. What will my callers hear if my building is out of power and my system is down?
    1. Depending on your carrier and the network services you have, your callers may hear a carrier intercept message ranging from “network difficulty” or “number cannot be reached”. Callers may also encounter continuous ringing, silence or a busy signal.
  3. If I want to forward my calls to another number, what is the best way to do this?
    1. The easiest way to do this is through the web portal from your service provider. You will need your login credentials and account information. By using this self-service feature, it allows you to control when and where your number are forwarded. These features may or may not be included with your service, so you should make sure to test in advance. You can also call your service provider and request a manual forward. Fees may apply depending on your carrier and plan.
  4. My building has power, my phones have displays and I can call desk to desk – but when I call any of our numbers I can’t get through. What type of issue may I be experiencing?
    1. While your area may have power and your ATCOM phone system is working, your service provider may be experiencing issues due to network damage or abundance of call volume. This issue should be reported by contacting the carrier that provides your telephone services.
  5. Our phone systems and applications are located in a data center or are cloud based and our building has power. Our auto-attendant answers but none of our phones or computers work. What could be the issue?
    1. If your local network is up but you can’t get to the internet or to your data center-based applications, the carrier may be experiencing service issues in your area. Our engineers can assist you in isolating the issue.

ATCOM Managed Services customers are being proactively addressed to help ensure minimum downtime and a successful recovery! If you have more questions, or are interested in hearing more about ATCOM’s Managed IT Services, click the link below.

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