4IT Blog

4IT has been serving the Miami area since 2003, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Hurricane Preparation for Information Technology Departments Checklist

Man in Storm

With the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma looming over our heads, it is important to remain calm and ensure that our families, and businesses, are thoroughly protected. The team at 4IT has created a Hurricane Preparation checklist for your IT Department to make sure that your business stays afloat during and after a hurricane.

Before the Storm:

  1. Designate a person at the facility to coordinate IT preparation.
  2. Once a hurricane watch has been issued, have all users backup any important data on their workstations to the network file server, or to removable media.  They should make 2 separate backups: 
    • One to be taken offsite by the end user,
    • One to be given to the IT coordinator.
  3. Once a decision has been made for final preparations, an email should be sent to vendors/customers indicating that email will be unavailable after the systems have been shut down.
  4. All workstations, printers, and workstation hardware should be shut down, disconnected from the wall power outlets and the network jack, and should be moved off of the floor and placed on top of desks.  If the workstations are attached to a UPS, shut the UPS off, and disconnect it from the wall power, and place it on top of the desks as well.  All the workstation hardware should be covered with plastic to prevent water damage in the event of a roof leak.  Large plastic garbage bags work very nicely for this purpose.
  5. A final disaster recovery backup should be run on all the file servers.  Once that backup is completed, it should be given to the IT coordination, and the previous night’s backup should be taken offsite by someone else.
  6. Once the final backup is completed, the file servers should be shut down and disconnected exactly like a workstation.  Once the servers are all shut down, the network switches, DSL modems, and any other communications gear, including phone systems should also be shut down and disconnected from the power outlets.  Again, all this equipment should be up off the floor and covered with plastic to prevent water damage in the event of a roof leak.
  7. The IT Coordinator should place all of the backup media into a waterproof container, and take it offsite.

Once the Storm Passes:

  1. Examine the entire facility to see if there was any damage that may have leaked water into the facility.
  2. If the facility is operating on a generator, it will be important to use a UPS for any equipment that you wish to use.
  3. If the facility has sustained damage, the entire electrical system should be inspected before IT equipment is reconnected.
  4. Once electrical power is working correctly, remove the plastic covering from all of the computer equipment.
  5. Connect and power up the network switches and communications gear.
  6. Connect and power up the servers.
  7. Connect and power up the workstations and peripherals

We hope that your friends, family, and businesses stay safe throughout the storm.

 - Ray, Alex, and the rest of the 4IT Team

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