Hurricane Season is Here
Now that we are into the month of June, we are officially into Hurricane season on the east coast of the US. It’s a good time to assess your hurricane readiness and business continuity plans. That way if a weather event does head your way with your business in the path of a storm, you’ll be ready.
Work from Home Strategies Keep Paying Off
The good news is that in the wake of the shift to Work from Home in 2020, many organizations are much better prepared for their employees to work remotely during a weather event. However, if power and internet are down, some disruption is inevitable for the end users. However, with some advance preparation, core business systems can remain operational and a proactive action plan will make a return to normal operation much smoother for everyone.
Now this conversation no longer makes the assumption that the bulk of IT systems are located on premise. In an increasing number of cases, our clients are adopting hybrid models with computing spread across local infrastructure, private cloud and even some public cloud. Distributing more of the computing into the cloud provides more redundancy, distributes the computing into areas far from the storm impact, and do a lot to keep your organization running no matter what Mother Nature delivers.
Hurricane readiness checklist for organizations:
- Proactively communicate emergency plans to employees, including what IT services may change during a weather event.
- Share key employee contact information with a chart of who is responsible for which functions. Even better, share a simple outline of services and the expected priority and return to operation for each after the crisis has passed.
- Plan to shut down un-needed servers & services so your power backup will last longer. Another option is to proactively plan partial or complete computing failover to our Brush Mountain Data Centers with our FLxDR DRaaS service.
- Ideally, your IT systems should be sured in a windowless data room, (or co-located inside our fully redundant Brush Mountain Data Centers) but if this is not the case, cover windows with plywood near IT systems that you can’t relocate.
- Anchor heavy, rack-mounted IT hardware in case high winds enter the building.
- Unplug unnecessary equipment to prevent damage from brown-out, power fluctuations, and surges.
- Make sure all equipment (including UPS) are off the floor and away from areas where water may get in.
- Make sure your UPS have been tested and fully functional.
- Remind employees of all remote functionality including the ability to answer and make phone calls from their computer using software. If your organization is still running an on-premise PBX, talk to us about our FLxTalk+ service that can either manage your existing systems or replace them with a more modern and agile cloud-powered communications system that we deliver as a turnkey monthly service.
- Back up critical data on PCs and notebooks that may not normally be backed up. Store a copy in the cloud, if possible, or at a secure offsite location. Our FLxStore hybrid cloud backup not only backs up server data but can also cover end user devices too. Usually for the same price you are paying for your server only backup.
- If you will have some staff remaining on site during the event, make sure you have enough supplies for them, including food, water, sleeping arrangements, flashlights, batteries and a good first aid kit.
- Keep insurance information with key personnel.
- Make sure you have your smartphone charged not only to stay in touch but be sure to document any damages.
- Keep ALI’s support line handy (800) 283-2648. Those of you with ALI support agreements, you have access to request support around the clock.
On a lighter note, now might be an ideal time to finally clean out the office fridge in case of extended power outage!
Recovery & Afterwards: An Opportunity to Assess & Tune
We hope you never see an outage with significant downtime, but know that they will happen. The best plan is proactive preparation for hurricane readiness (or other events). That way your team can plan and communicate in advance, and even stage trial runs to make sure everything works as planned before a crisis is on your door.
Stay safe. Then afterwards, our team is available to discuss any gaps you may uncover. Our suite of Business Continuity services provide proactive preparation and system redundancy.Schedule Discussion Session