Preparing your home and business for Hurricane IrenePosted: August 26, 2011
As you take time to prepare for Hurricane Irene headed our way this weekend we recommend you take a few minutes and think about your IT disaster plan. There are a few simple steps you can take before the storm hits to keep you in good shape:
For your home:
- Check your backup and make sure it’s current. Once you know it’s current make sure you have a backup offsite somewhere. That can be anywhere you deem safe… the cloud, a safe location in your home (safe from water damage), or a relative’s house outside the storm range. Just make sure your backup is up-to-date and that it’s in at least two locations.
- Charge up all your devices like cell phones, laptops, and any other gadgets you may want to use to help weather the storm. Don’t forget a battery powered radio!
- Pull out that old school telephone. Any phone that needs to be plugged in won’t do you any good in a power outage.
- Make sure all appliances are plugged into a surge strip. Many small appliances have small computer components built in and are susceptible to damage during power surges (things like new refrigerators, washing machines etc). If it’s not plugged into a decent surge strip unplug it for the duration of the storm.
- Take care of all your online research before Irene hits. If your power goes out you won’t have access to the internet since your cable modem/router will be down. Don’t rely on your cell either since the network could be bogged down and unreliable. Do your research and “googling” now.
For your business:
- Again, check your backups and make sure you have a copy offsite. If your building gets flooded your backup is useless if all your backup tapes or drives are damaged with the server.
- Consider shutting down any servers, or large equipment. If you think your power may go out for an extended period of time, or may go out and come back on unexpectedly we recommend shutting down for the duration of the storm. Basic UPS devices typically last a short period of time and aren’t designed to keep your systems up for an extended period of time.
- Check that all equipment is plugged into surge strips or power protection devices. All equipment such as PCs, fax machines, printers, and postage meters are susceptible to damage from a surge. If they are not in a strip unplug them.
- Print out a list of key contact information and bring it home with you. This list should include key employees, important customers and clients, and vendor information. If you can’t get into your systems on Monday you want to have the information handy if you need to make some calls.