Preparing for Disaster – Hurricane Gustav and Beyond

August 27, 2008

Following Katrina, Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans worked to restore IT operations at several businesses with Microsoft systems.  We have first-hand experience with many facets of disaster and disaster recovery.  As most everyone on the Gulf Coast, Onsite pays close attention to weather forecasts as we approach the end of August.  Today, some of our clients are emailing and calling to request guidance and assistance in preparation for another hurricane, Gustav

Katrina gave new meaning to the term ‘disaster’, and taking a focused, proactive approach to disaster planning can save time, lost business, lost information, and MONEY.  Every sane person residing in the New Orleans area KNOWS the look and smell of disaster.  From an IT perspective, a worst-case scenario doesn’t necessarily imply the loss of your data and IT operation. 

Onsite clients deal with evacuation in different manners.  Our clients who operate OUTSIDE of the levee protection system always perform a full backup of important data and move their PCs and server to higher ground in the face of an approaching hurricane.  Other clients have Onsite remove their hard disks from the CPUs for evacuation.  At the very least, perform a full backup and verify the data upon completion.  Backup to external USB hard disks is fine in an emergency; however don’t forget hard disks are composed of sensitive electronic and mechanical components that are subject to failure if dropped or bumped.  Also, two full backups are better than one backup.

Considering the aggravation and expense of losing your entire business and IT operation, the aggravation and expense of a small business backing-up and evacuating their PCs and server is small.  If you must evacuate your business, consider moving your important equipment.  If conditions prevent your return to the area for several weeks, than your business can temporarilly relocate and access important company data in a relatively short period of time and at nominal expense.  Prioritize.

If the aftermath of Katrina is any indication of how the recovery process works, those who take a proactive approach to dealing with disaster recover fastest.  We all pray we NEVER need FEMA, SBA, or any other branch of federal, state, or local government in an emergency.  Help from any branch of the government takes lots of time.  America was founded on the Protestant belief that God helps those who help themselves.  Forget government help in the short term.   

Some may argue that the reason for insurance is freedom from worry about loss during a disaster.  Wake-up and smell the coffee!  Anyone who endured the Katrina drama and waited for an insurance settlement understands the exact insurance process following a disaster… you wait.  I know small business owners who are still waiting for settlement of their claims as their cases navigate the labyrinthine path of the court system.  Consider Allstate’s public record before you start feeling warm and fuzzy about the ‘good hands people.’

The point of this Onsite post is to inspire our business owners to seriously consider a plan of operation BEFORE the call to evacuate.  Reflect on the logistics of evacuation.  As Gustav approaches the central Gulf, let’s pray the storm heads west to unpopulated areas of the Mexico desert.  If you require help preparing your IT system for evacuation, call Onsite NOW – 504-469-6991.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at eli@onsitenola.com. Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.

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