As Hurricane Isaac pounds Louisiana and New Orleans, many MSPs in the region are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The best of those managed services providers spent the past weekend checking customer backups and double-checking the location of cloud storage systems. Still, plenty of customers in the hurricane zone are scrambling to protect their data -- and their families. How can you cope for this week's storm and future weather-related or man-made disasters? Here's some guidance.
A tip of the hat, by the way, to Intronis Channel Chief Ted Roller, who sent across this tip sheet:
- Make sure your family and co-workers are in a position to be safe and sound throughout.
- Test offsite backups.
- May sure to reach out to your customers to see if there's any changes in their data backups due to the impending disaster, and make sure they are aware of the potential dangers of potential risks their network might face.
- Stock extra drives (Intronis partners can call our Support Team and request extra drives from us at no additional cost if your clients are involved in a natural disaster from July through September).
- Trial restores of data at customer sites should be done already, but if not, do them quick.
- Reach out to your advisory group partners out of harm's way and make sure they know you are facing a potential disaster situation. Ask them to be prepared to help (and of course you will do the same if the rolls are ever reversed). Examples include your HTG Group, your PSA group, your Accountability Group, and other friendly MSPs.
- Make sure your corporate network is as prepped as possible for the emergency. It is hard to help others in need when you have no access to resources to help.
- Make sure you have a disaster plan for your office and run through it with your employees. (One example: Intronis worked with Technology Marketing Toolkit to offer a DR kit.)
- See No. 1. Take every precaution to make sure this natural disaster does not become a personal tragedy.
- Family Communications Plan – write down critical cell and landline numbers in case your phone dies; know where you will meet if cell towers and landline phones go out; designate an out-of-area relative everyone should contact if they can’t reach each other
- Cell phones – text messages use less battery and get through when calls can’t; external batteries are available to keep your cell phone powered when the internal battery dies; pack your car charger and home charger if you evacuate; extend your battery by turning off wi-fi and other services you aren’t using
- Computers—back up critical data onto external hard drives, thumb drives, or online services; if you have to evacuate take critical equipment with you or seal it in garbage bags to protect against water damage
- Water – Buy water or fill pots and pitchers with drinking water – 1 gallon per day per person; water systems may be contaminated and unsafe for drinking
- Food – non-perishable food you don’t have to cook
- Cash—credit cards won’t work if power and communications go down. Withdraw $ 200 - $ 300 so you can make purchases
- Automobile—fill your gas tank when you first hear a warning; gas pumps won’t work if power fails
- Evacuation – have a backpack or overnight bag with clothes, medications, sweatshirt and sweatpants; extra glasses, personal hygiene supplies; energy bars; emergency blankets (look in the camping supply areas of sporting goods or department stores); follow instructions to shut off water, gas, and electricity before you leave
- Hand-crank weather radio – these also charge cell phones through a USB cable. Purchase one at Lowes, Home Depot, Sam’s, Costco, or Wal-mart. Make sure the radio has SAME alerting so you will only receive alerts for your local area.
- Batteries – enough for flashlights, lanterns, radios.
- LED lanterns—no need for fuel or mantles; safer than candles; some lanterns come with removable LED flashlights
- Common Sense – evacuate if your local government issues an order; don’t drive through flooded streets; stay away from downed wires
- Don’t panic -- keep your cool for your own safety and your family’s
Best wishes to those riding out the storm.