Barlop Hurricane Season Precautions
As you may be aware, there is a possibility that our area will be under the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias for the next couple of days.In having our clients’ best interest in mind, Barlop Business Systems is suggesting measures in order to avoid or at least diminish possible damage to your equipment.
In the aftermath of a severe tropical wave or hurricane Barlop will do everything possible to renew service to our customers. Besides repairs to the equipment we presently are servicing for you, Barlop can also offer IT services designed to get your non-responding network up and running including replacement for damaged computers and servers.
An often over-looked segment of hurricane safety is the workplace. It is essential to take proactive steps in preparing for unpredictable storms and other disasters.
Here are some steps you can take in order to keep your business equipment & info safe:
Make certain to protect your copier, printer, computers, and all electrical appliances from suffering severe and possibly terminal water damage by
DISCONNECTING ALL electronics from the power source.
Keeping them away from exterior doors and windows.
Elevating them from the floor if possible.
Covering the equipment with plastic sheets or bags.
When a powerful storm hits, be it a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane, one of the biggest issues you will likely face is power loss. If you have a server in your home or office, hopefully, you also have a Battery Backup set up.
Battery Backups give connected devices about 15-20 minutes of power, depending on the number of devices connected to it and the size of the Battery Backup itself. Those 15-20 minutes allow connected devices, including the server, to shut down properly.
Make sure all documents are saved and/or backed up, hopefully both to an on-site backup drive and to an online backup drive (because if the server/workstation is damaged as well as the on-site backup, then the online backup still exists; but if the on-site backup is intact, it’s easier to restore from that than the online backup). Server operating systems are very sensitive; if a server is abruptly or incorrectly shut down, it may require a restore or even re-installation to boot back up.
If your internal backups are on a hard drive or tape that can be removed from the office, take the unit(s) to a secure location. Most backups are scheduled to run late at night. If the server is not on at night, then the files modified during the previous day will not be on the latest backup
Prior to leaving the office just before a storm, the server should be shut down to prevent data corruption. In order to ensure that this process is completed correctly, please allow us to perform this task.
Keep in mind that if you currently have an Exchange server set up in your office, and you shut the server down in preparation for the storm, then you will not have access to any e-mails while the server is down. You may want to send a blast email out to your contacts informing them that you will not have access to email until a certain date.
Workstations (i.e., desktop and laptop computers)
Leaving your computer powered on during any storm can cause major issues later on. Even if the computer is connected to a surge protector or battery backup, a strong electrical current may nonetheless cause irreversible damage to your hardware and components.
Shut down your computer before leaving the office prior to a storm.
Before unplugging any cables, take a picture of how everything is connected (such as the back of your computer tower). This will help you reconnect everything when the storm has passed.
If all components are connected to a battery backup or surge protector, and everything connected to that battery/surge protector is shut down, then unplug the battery/surge protector from the electrical socket in the wall. If any components are plugged into the wall outlet, unplug everything.
If something, such as a server, is connected to the battery backup and it must stay on, then all devices that can be shut down should be unplugged from the Battery Backup.
If your home or office is located in a flood zone, place your computer tower in a large, heavy-duty trash bag, and place that bag in a plastic trash bin. Keep track of associated cables, and place them in plastic bags in the same plastic trash bin.
If you do not have your files and documents backed up using a formal backup system, either onsite or online (as stated above, ideally both), then save all important documents onto an external hard drive or even a USB thumb drive.
We hope these tips help you prepare your IT systems & Office Equipment from the storm.
We wish you good fortune and hope that you and yours stay safe should our area get affected.
ESTABLISH AN ON-SITE SUPPORT PLAN.
Due to the Storm and the cone of uncertainty of landfall to South Florida. We will follow Miami-Dade County’s Advisory for this upcoming week. If they advise that Miami-Dade County businesses are closed then we will close as well. If they don’t announce any close of businesses then Barlop will operate on its regular schedule.