Hurricane Dorian is on track to pass through our neighborhood sometime late this weekend or, most likely, very early next week. While we hope that the storm does not come close enough to our businesses to cause any damage, it is time again to review some hurricane preparedness tips that should be followed to ensure the best possible outcome in the worst case scenario. The topics covered in this email are listed below:
1. Backup your Critical Data
2. Photograph all Equipment Before the Storm
3. Record Computer Specifications
4. Print 2 Weeks of Schedule Data and Phone Numbers
5. Unplug and Cover All Electronic Equipment
6. After the Storm Passes
7. Accudata Service Office Closure
1. Backup your Data
A data backup is crucial in the event that the original database is destroyed. Many of you already have contracted Accudata Service to monitor your critical data and ensure that it is backed up locally to a hard drive and remotely on a cloud server. In this case all you need to do is unplug the external drive for your local backup and take it with you when you leave the office before the storm. You can rest easy knowing that your business’ data is safely stored in multiple locations.
If you do not already have a reliable data backup management plan or if you want to double check your current solution, then please follow the below instructions to ensure that a backup is obtained as part of your hurricane preparedness plan.
You should have a local backup of the entire server going to an attached external hard drive. Please take time now to verify that your backup is running properly as the size of the database can be very large and should not be left to the last minute because it can take hours to backup. Each backup software should offer the option to open the program and see a message telling you the date and time of the last successful backup.
If you do not have a backup of your data please obtain a 2 TB external hard drive and contact us immediately so that we can implement a backup plan for your business as soon as possible.
2. Photograph All Equipment Before the Storm
For insurance purposes, photograph all your equipment with a high resolution camera on a smart phone or digital camera. These photographs should be stored on your computer as well as emailed to yourself for safe keeping. The photographs should include serial numbers, make and model whenever possible. Remember to take photographs of the following items in your office before disconnecting and bagging them: Servers, workstations, networking equipment (i.e. routers, switches, firewall, modem), printers, fax machines, scanners and other external devices. Also take wide shots of each room in your office prior to the storm hitting the area.
3. Record Computer Specifications
Make sure you have a list of the specifications of all of your computers. If you do not have the original invoices, but you do have internet access, then you can download a utility on www.belarc.com that will give you this information. Once this has been downloaded print the report to a PDF and email it to yourself along with the photos in the above step. This will help if an insurance claim is necessary after the storm.
4. Print your Schedules
Print out your appointments schedule in Office Hours for at least 2 weeks. This includes patient phone numbers so you can get in touch with your patients even if you don't have power.
5. Unplug and Cover all Equipment
Two factors that you are trying to protect against is lightning strikes that cause power surges as well as heavy wind and rain which could cause flooding inside your office.
A power surge from a lightning strike can travel through the plugs in your office as well as phone cords, Ethernet cords and cable lines. For this reason, it is important to disconnect everything before the storm hits.
It probably goes without saying but water and electronics do not mix well. The smallest amount of water inside a computer could cause major issues. For this reason, we generally wrap the computer equipment in plastic bags to prevent water from spraying onto the machine.
1. Unplug all power, cable, Ethernet and phone cords and wrap them in plastic.
2. Move all equipment away from doors and windows and cover with heavy-duty trash bags
3. Do not leave your equipment sitting on the floor to avoid water damage.
4. Place everything on a solid surface at least 2 feet off the floor.
6. After the Storm
After the storm passes and the area is deemed safe retake all of the photographs taken in the above step before moving anything in the office. Once this is done, report all damage to your insurance company and start a claim. This will be necessary for any insurance claims.
Following this you can begin plugging equipment back in and powering everything on again. Start with your networking equipment and servers followed by the workstations. If there are any issues with your systems, please open a ticket with Accudata and we will respond as quickly as possible.
7. Accudata Service Closure
Accudata Service will be closed if we are under a Hurricane Warning. Check our Twitter, @AccudataFL, or Facebook pages for current information. We have an answering service who will take calls and open tickets if we are not available. If you are unable to reach us by phone for any reason, please remember that there are two alternate methods for reporting issues which will continue to work even during the storm.
As always, you are able to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or log into the portal via our web site, www.accudataservice.com to open a ticket in our support queue. We do have a generator that will power most of our office and will typically re-open once the roads are safe for employees.
If you have any questions or need help please feel free to reply to this email which will open a ticket with our support department.