As Hurricane Michael makes its way towards Florida and the Southeast U.S., now is the time to take action and be prepared to protect your computers, printers, files and data.
1. ENSURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP
Don't wait until the day before a hurricane to backup your files! It's good practice to frequently backup your data files. We recommend a hybrid-cloud image-based backup that can be used to restore data and applications even if your server is destroyed, and that can restore data from different points in time.
Print a copy of your important/emergency contacts and take them with you if you do not have access to them from your phone or computer, you'll have them available to use via a landline.
RealTime Clients: Everyone who is on our Business Continuity Service – Your servers are backed up and replicated offsite daily. If there is a problem, we correct that as part of the service. As hurricanes approach your physical location, we’ll be talking with you and confirm things are backed up and replicated prior to you shutting your operations down as part of your storm prep.
2. SECURE YOUR EQUIPMENT
Shutdown the operating system.
If connected to a surge protector or UPS - unplug from the wall outlet (or unplug power cables from the surge protector or UPS if wall outlet isn't accessible).
Unplug Ethernet cable from the back of computer or docking station.
Power off the printer.
If connected to a surge protector - unplug as described above.
Unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the printer.
Unplug the phone cable from the back of the printer (if a fax line is connected).
SERVERS AND NETWORK EQUIPMENT
Perform a normal shutdown of the servers. RealTime clients: Please coordinate with RealTime service desk.
Unplug all connections - Take photos to document how things were prior to the event.
Firewalls, Switches, Access Points - unplug them from power. Unplug the firewall from the internet connection as well. Ideally, unplug all the network connections (surges can travel through the network cabling).
Battery backups - power these off and then unplug them.
Phone systems - Check with your vendor to see what steps you can take to protect it.
3. PROTECT FROM WATER/WIND
When a major storm is predicted, elevate your CPUs, printers, servers, and other network devices, as well as other electrical appliances like space heaters, off of the floor. For high winds, move computers away from windows. If there is a possibility of water leakage, cover computer equipment with plastic.
4. CONTINUING OPERATIONS AFTER THE STORM
If you are in the path, power and internet connectivity may be hard to come by for a few days. Generators can provide enough power to run your critical computer equipment – just be sure you are connecting up to something that can deal w/ the power fluctuations many generators have. Please ask RealTime before connecting things up to generators as they can damage sensitive equipment. Modern battery backups may have the capability to condition the power off of a generator – check with the manufacturer to confirm before trying this.
4G USB modems or Mifi can get you connected in an emergency. Everything you do may not work, but basic web browsing.
Forward your phones – If the office is expected to be out a few days, most phone service providers have a way for you to forward calls to your business to a cell phone or alternate number. Get the steps now, before you need them.
5. BE PREPARED
Knowing what steps to take ahead of time will help you be prepared in the worst-case scenario. RealTime is committed to ensuring our clients are prepared with the proper technology to meet their current/future needs as well as advising them about safeguarding their business from weather-related, cyber and other disasters.
If you would like further information about RealTime managing Information Technology for your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.