Hurricane Preparedness: Don’t let your data drown

 

Do you have a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan? 

Summer in south Florida means higher temperatures, afternoon rain and hurricane season. We are nearing the peak of the season and there’s already been a named storm, are you prepared? We haven’t had a doozy of a hurricane in a few years, so it is best to be stocked and set , ahead of the rush and confusion to avoid potentially damaging effects.

Hurricane Season runs June 1 through November 30, peak season being August through October, ample time for a storm to hit.

The key to hurricane season is to be prepared, personally and professionally. At home there are steps to take to ensure your residence and family stay safe. Ahead of time you stock up on batteries, flashlights, canned food and bottled water. Hopefully we get through another season unscathed, but just in case a storm is imminent, here are some things your can do in the day or so before it arrives.

Some tips for preparing your home for an approaching hurricane:

  1. Fill your car with gas and get fuel for your generator. Check the generator to make sure it is in working order, before the storm hits.
  2. Fill the bathtub with water. This can be helpful for many reasons-you can use it wash up and clean but mainly, for flushing the toilet. 
  3. Check your flashlights and battery-powered items.
  4. Make sure you have backups.
  5. Put candles in easily accessible area and locate matches and lighters.
  6. Charge all of your devices while you still have electricity.
  7. Fill coolers with ice. Freeze water bottles and other items you want to keep cold for an extended period. Water bottles make great ice packs if you aren’t able to get your hands on the blue-gel sort.
  8. Clean yard or debris and items that can be thrown by the wind, but don’t start any new tree trimming or yard projects.

The  National Hurricane Center  offers a PDF Preparedness Guide available for download.

Ahead of any Watches or Warnings, you should put together a prepared kit, so that when the frenzy hits you aren’t left facing empty shelves at the supermarket.

An Emergency Supplies Kit Should Include:

  •  At least a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food
  •  At least, one change of clothing and shoes per person
  •  One blanket or sleeping bag per person
  •  First-aid kit
  •  Battery-powered NWR and a portable radio
  •  Emergency tools
  •  Flashlight, extra batteries
  •  Extra set of car keys
  •  Credit card and plenty of cash
  •  Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines

At home you hope for the best and do what you can.  You board up the windows and bring in the lawn furniture. Then you wait.

But what do you do professionally to ensure your data’s safety and security?

Hopefully a storm isn’t devastating to the community, but the aftermath of even a low category storm can be professionally destructive. So, what do you do at work to make sure you aren’t out of commission for days or weeks after the storm? The catastrophe of losing data because you don’t have the appropriate Data Preparedness Plan can be crippling.

 

Don’t wait for the storm on the radar to protect your company, your data and your clients data,  and to back up essential information. By then, it can be too late. Think and plan ahead.

Our Official Guaranteed Networks Hurricane Procedure

  • Take last 2-3 nights backup offsite with you
  • Make sure all hot plug hard drives in servers are labeled with position numbers.  Remove the hard drives and take them with you.  If your server does not have hot plug drives, be prepared to take it offsite when you leave the building.
  • Take copies of all software and all licensing information offsite when you leave
  • Make sure to place all computers on top of the desks.
  • Cover all the computers with plastic garbage bags and cover duct tape them closed
  • Make sure you unplug all electrical cords including phone lines, T1’s, cable TV, etc
  • Make sure you unplug and turn off all UPS’, routers, switches, firewalls and any other electronic devices in the office
  • Wrap up all electronic devices in garbage bags and duct tape them closed as well.  The major cause of electronic device failures in hurricanes are surges through the power and telephone grids.  Please contact your telephone vendor for information on shutting down and securing your phone system.
  • If there is anything you think you might not be able to hook back up, please take pictures of how it is plugged in.  Please understand that in the event of a strike, the first day back to work is going to be hectic and we cannot guarantee our ability to get everyone up and running immediately.
  • SLPowers will be canceling service calls and manning the phones to help our customers if we are placed under a Hurricane Watch

Here are some resources as listed in the Preparedness Guide from The National Hurricane Center

Current Storm Information
„National Weather Service: www.weather.gov

National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov

Central Pacific Hurricane Center: www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

 

Historical Storm Information

„National Climatic Data Center: www.ncdc.noaa.gov

NOAA Coastal Services Center: www.csc.noaa.gov

 

Emergency/Preparedness Information
„

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org
„ FEMA: http://www.fema.gov
„ Mobile NHC website in basic HTML: www.nhc.noaa.gov/mobile
„ Mobile NWS website for smartphones: mobile.weather.gov
„ Mobile NWS website in basic HTML: cell.weather.gov

Other Information
„Audio Podcasts: www.nhc.noaa.gov/audio/index.shtml

Geographic Information System Data: www.nhc.noaa.gov/gis/

„ NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: www.weather.gov/nwr

„ Hurricane Tracking Charts: www.weather.gov/os/hurricane/

„ NHC Facebook Page:www.facebook.com/US.NOAA

Twitter
„ Atlantic: @NHC_Atlantic
„ Eastern North Pacific: @NHC_Pacific
„ Central Pacific: @NWSHonolulu
„ Storm Surge: @NHC_Surg

Do you have any tips to add?? Leave a comment and let us know!



Categories: Current News and Events, Data Loss Prevention

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