As we enter into hurricane season, it’s a good time to review our best practices to prepare for a hurricane. Just like you prep your home with shutters or sandbags, you can similarly protect your business's IT infrastructure with a bit of effort.
Start with Your Backups
- Run and doublecheck a full backup
- Store media containing the backup offsite, preferably in a fortified location
As a VirtuWorks customer, you can rest easy knowing that all data stored on our infrastructure is backed up nightly. Our datacenter:
- Is built 32 feet above sea level
- Can withstand a Category 5 Hurricane
- Features redundant power vaults fed from 2 different substations, plus a generator with fuel
- And much more
Gather Necessary Information and Distribute It Accordingly
- Know VirtuWorks contact information, 305-265-0447 or 866-599-0493 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Have IP Addresses, Domain Names, Ports, and other information remotely available
- Write down passwords or store them on a thumb drive
- Forward phones appropriately
Prepare Your Physical Components
While preparing your data for a hurricane is important, packing up your office is also extremely important. The more pieces of your technology you can protect from water and power surges, the more quickly you’ll be able to restart your business.
PCs – Shut them down using the proper shutdown feature. Then remove them from their UPS. If needed and possible, relocate low lying technology to a desk or away from a window.
Servers/Server Rooms – Make sure all backups are run, then being shutting down each server properly, using the shutdown feature. Next, disconnect any UPS’. Any servers which are less than 3 feet from the floor can be carefully relocated to higher ground. Cover your servers, server racks, and network devices with waterproof sheeting or garbage bags.
Large Printers/Copiers – Power them off using the power down button and unplug them. If possible, move them to higher ground and/or cover them with waterproof sheeting or garbage bags.
After a Hurricane or Storm
Dealing with the aftereffects of a storm is just as important as being prepared. Power loss and power instability are major consequences of a storm. Trying to rush your business back into operation by relying on inconsistent or rigged power supplies are not the solution. Wait until the power has been returned to your offices and then give it some time to stabilize.
Once the power has stabilized, go ahead and begin removing the waterproof materials and returning any electrical breakers to the ‘on’ position. Take a few moments to walk around your office and check for smoke, sparks, or other signs of danger. Reposition your UPS and give them a solid 30 minutes to charge up. After that:
- Carefully reposition your Servers, PC’s, Printers, Phones, and Network Devices.
- If you have a Cable Internet or DSL Modem, plug it in first and wait 3 minutes.
- If you have a Firewall or Router, plug it in next and wait 3 minutes.
- If you have Switches, plug them in next and wait 3 minutes.
- If you have a Domain Controller (Server), plug it in next, power it on and wait for 5 to 10 minutes
- Plug in any remaining Servers or Network Devices.
- Plug in your PC’s, Monitors, Printers, and Phones and turn them on.
Having a solid plan, following it, and being prepared for a storm will help decrease downtime and allow your business to recover from a disaster much more easily. At VirtuWorks, our facilities are designed to protect your data and our personnel are available after the storm. For more information on preparing for the storm, please watch the following educational video