Hurricane Preparedness for your Business

We operate a data center and have been in business for 30 years. These are our best hurricane tips from years of experience.

Voice / Telephone System

  • Add call forwarding to your carrier voice service. After a storm is not the best time to request emergency call routing from your carriers.
  • Switch to a cloud hosted PBX (by Infotel Systems of course).  These systems keep answering calls and will relay calls to your cell phone when the power fails.

Internet

  • The Comcast coax “braid” must be grounded at the building entrance to prevent lightning damage (the #1 reason equipment blows up!).  www.comcastrepair.com
  • Trim any tree branches within 10 feet of your aerial communication lines.
  • We offer Verizon 4G backup solutions with optional static IP! You can also use the hotspot feature on most smart phones to deliver internet to laptops.
  • Know this one techie thing: how to PING your internet router and computers from an outside location. Ask your computer tech for a lesson.

Power

  • Install a surge protector across a 240 volt breaker in your AC electrical panel. This is a one hour job for an electrician. We offer the surge units at a cost of about $100 and have special rates with qualified electricians for install.
  • Have a shutdown capable UPS on all servers and work stations. This is $100 at Costco. Workstation UPS costs about $60.00.
  • Don’t run a generator without a surge protector inline.
  • Keep a few 100 foot extension cords. You may have power on another electrical phase in your commercial building from a neighbor.
  • Call your paper fax machine to determine if you have lost power.
  • A $150 (12 VDC to 120 VAC) inverter connected to your car’s battery will power your phone system, internet router, and three computers.
  • Keep a cheap alarm clock that flashes 12:00…12:00…12:00 when it loses power. Then you can answer questions like “Did we lose power last night?” and “Why is the file server acting strange?”
  • Have you ever touched your refrigerator or washing machine and gotten a shock? If so, you had an electrical ground issue. Now do you think your computer server will tolerate bad grounds any better? We have a master electrician on staff. $99 audit is good money spent.

Computing Equipment

  • A laptop typically is more energy efficient and can be recharged or moved if you lose power.
  • Check the status of your equipment lights at www.statuslights.com.  Green is good and red is dead. Reporting a blinking red light means so much more to your phone company.
  • If you don’t have data backup in the cloud, go to Costco, buy a 1 TB drive for $100 and connect to your file store. Do a manual backup. DO IT TODAY!

Environment

  • Buy an 80 quart humidifier and run it to cure dampness after days of rain.
  • You can also run your AC down to 60 degrees for a day to soak up moisture. If your AC has the capacity, run an oven or space heater at the same time. The AC + heater combo becomes a powerful dehumidifier without freezing everyone.

Team Communications

  • Create, ahead of time, a text message group on all manager cell phones to communicate. You may also purchase our www.textyall.com system.
  • Google docs allow your management team to work a collaborative DR checklist. Cloud docs exist safely away from regional disasters and down business office servers.

Calling the phone company for repairs

  • After a storm, get to the office early and test systems. Calling your carrier at 7 a.m. means you are ticket #9. At 9 a.m., you are ticket #499, and it’s a long line.
  • Report your carrier issue then call back 10 minutes later.  Get that rep to read your repair order out of the carrier’s trouble ticket system.
  • Have the number of two of your closest business neighbors handy that have the same utilities and call them for carrier-down reality checks. Reporting that your building or area is down gets you fixed faster.
  • Copper and coax circuits are most affected by wet weather 24 HRS AFTER a storm by water that wicks into cables. Remember what happened yesterday.
  • Most repair requests are delayed by several minutes because account information can not be found. Post this info in your utility closet or by your router or phone system.
    • carrier repair telephone number
    • billing telephone number and customer account number
    • circuit numbers
    • main IP address

We don’t like to sell on fear, so we provide up to one hour of free consulting to deliver plans that can be competitively bid and executed.  We hope you will later engage us with profitable business! We are a Virginia class A contractor with 5MM in insurance and a variety of technical certifications.  The consulting is not a scripted ploy from a sales person.