Hurricane Harvey Preparation Checklist

Just because we are not in Harvey's path does not mean a disaster cannot strike at any time. Are you prepared?

Below are some steps you can take today to make sure your business' critical data is protected:

1. First, for our existing customers who are being managed by any of our service plans, such as Monthly hours agreement, Weekly hours agreement, Essentials plan, Preferred plan, or Ultimate plan; your data is in good hands. We review your local and cloud backup status of servers on a regular basis and take corrective actions, if needed. We are reviewing your data backups again today for good measure.

2. If you expect your office to flood, then make sure all IT equipment is off the floor. Before raising the equipment, it may need to be turned off or disconnected.

3. Electrical surges can come through electrical outlets or via network connections. During a storm, you may elect to turn off your equipment and disconnect from the electrical outlets. Before you do so, be sure to take pictures of the connections so you can put them back together.

4. If you decide to turn off your computers (especially servers), use the option to shut down from within Windows instead of just pressing the power button. These machines have to be turned off from within Windows or Virtual hosting software (if you have virtual servers) to avoid any problems due to sudden shutdown. If any of the servers are email servers, then be aware that your email will stop when the server is turned off. If we are managing your offices, then feel free to call us for help.

5. If you expect your office to sustain physical damage, you can opt to take your backup drives offsite. Your data can typically be restored a lot faster from backup drives than the cloud, in case of a loss.

6. Some special purpose machines and equipment store data within themselves. Be sure to make arrangements to backup this internal data because it will most likely be not backed up by your servers.

7. If you expect to receive critical phone calls while your office is shut down, be sure to temporarily forward your office phone number to another number, such as a cell phone.

8. If possible, take a video of your office (and home) through your phone and save it for any future insurance claims. If your phone backs up to the cloud (iCloud, VerizonCloud, Google drive, etc.) then you'll have a second copy of the video in case something happens to your device.

Hope the above information helps. Whether it's Harvey or another event in the future, it's not too late to plan for disaster recovery. There are various technology options available to small/medium businesses today which can give you access to your data within minutes even if you lose all of your servers. Be sure to discuss options available to you with your IT consultant.

Be safe!
Ash Pirwani