Hurricane Ian Approaching: Prep Your Business Technology

As Hurricane Ian approaches, all of us in the Tampa Bay area are holding our breath and hoping for a near miss. Hurricane Ian hasn’t crossed Cuba yet, and we are already fatigued by the constant 24/7 news cycle as the storm inches closer and closer. They say to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail, so here are a few more tips for business owners, managers and employees to help get back to work as quickly as possible after the storm.

1. Backup your data.

As of noon today (9/26/22), you have about 36-48 hours before storm conditions arrive. If you haven’t backed up your data, now would be a really good time to do so. Cloud backup takes some time to upload, but you should still be able to get it in. Prioritize what data is critical to your business. Open an Dropbox or ShareSync account, and move or copy all of your critical data to the folder. Cloud backup will give you the flexibility to access your critical data from anywhere that you have power and internet access. If cloud backup is impossible, or you are reading this too late, you should take all precautions to protect the hardware containing that data. If you need assistance with setting up a ShareSync account, call me at 813-605-7251 extension 1. (Our backup/disaster recovery clients need not worry. We’ve already got you covered.)

2. Protect your computer hardware.

Hardware that gets damaged will be difficult to replace quickly due to supply chain interruptions. The biggest concern is flooding:

  1. Photograph the front and back of all computer towers with the cables plugged in. This will help you reconnect everything after the storm.
  2. Shut down and unplug all computers to protect them from lightning.
  3. Move all computer towers on or near the floor to the desk.
  4. Cover the computer tower with a trash bag.
  5. If you have enough trash bags, also cover the monitor.
  6. Laptops should be secured in a dry place, or kept with you. Cover them with a plastic bag as well.

3. Expect loss of power, internet and mobile data access.

A direct hit from Hurricane Ian will cause massive outages of power, internet and mobile data. These outages often take days or weeks to restore. Prepare in advance. A battery powered radio will keep you updated. SMS (texting) from your phone is more reliable than trying to complete a phone call. Consider the free Zello Walkie Talkie app which could be more reliable than mobile calls after a storm. Download it before the storm on Android or Iphone.

4. Remember that we are all in this together.

These events bring out the best and worst in all of us. Keep an eye on opportunities to help each other out.

  • Take care of yourself. Accept the responsibility of keeping yourself safe so that nobody else has to.
  • Take care of your loved ones. Not everyone is as capable of taking care of themselves. Help them through this crisis.
  • Offer what you can. Now is not a time for hoarding. In a time of crisis, we often meet truly heroic people. Focus on them, and strive to be one.

A Better Choice Network Solutions will re-open as quickly as possible after the storm. We will respond to clients when it is deemed safe to do so. All calls for service will be triaged as quickly as we can. We all hope that this blog will be unnecessary and we can chalk it up to a “near-miss,” but once again…..to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.