Anytime there is a hurricane in the Gulf, Louisiana and Texas coastal communities are concerned about the potential impact in their area. Many of you have a developed disaster recovery plan and should follow that plan as directed by your management team. However, many of you do not have a plan in place and still should take proper precautions.
If we have to evacuate or feel that the storm presents a valid threat, before leaving your office, the following minimum preparations should be made.
- Unplug all computers from the electrical outlets including monitors.
- Unplug the network cable from the back of the computers.
- Unplug the remaining computer equipment from the electrical outlets and network jacks. (Ex: printers, hubs, scanners, copiers, faxes, etc.)
- Place all electronic equipment that is on the floor on top of furniture to protect it from rising water.
- Place all electronic equipment inside of trash bags to protect it from direct water contact in the event of roof damage. Make sure to tuck the bottom of the bags under the equipment to keep it from blowing off or leaking.
- Take two current backup tapes offsite with two different management employees. Make sure that the backup media is password protected. If the media is password protected already, make sure that you know the password.
- Protect valuable software applications necessary to get the system back up and running. Items such as License keys and installation software for the operating systems and Backup Software should be carried offsite with each set of tapes.
- Forward your lead phone number to a mobile or land line phone that will be out of the area.
- Since your servers may contain your e-mail, please make arrangements to have backup e-mail accounts.
- Protect files in your filing cabinets that may be low to the ground if you do not have a good document imaging solution.
- Consider Generator power for your office before the storm arrives. Generators are hard to come by after the storm has passed. Make sure that you have adequate supplies of fuel, oil, and maintenance items for your generator.
- Identify critical equipment that may be difficult to replace. You may want to bring it with you or make sure it is placed in the safest area in your building.
- Consider requiring key employees to pre plan their own personal disaster recovery plans.
This list is by no means all inclusive because each business is unique. Please be diligent in thinking through your unique situation. For more in depth planning, please ask us about designing an in depth Disaster Recovery Plan.
Remember, your customers will need you the most right after the storm has passed.