As we exit another nor’easter last week, I thought it might be a good time to talk about being prepared for those times that Mother Nature decides to not play so nice.
Having a plan for times when the weather outside doesn’t want to cooperate is a must these days. With the technology that’s out there, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue to keep your company up and running – even if you can’t make it into the office.
Here are some things that we do at People Science to make sure we can continue to work, and at the same time, making sure that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way.
- Having a team that deals with Storm Issues – I think this might be one of the most important things you can have in place. Having a team of people to discuss what you’re going to do the next day, or even the same day. This team helps get the information out to others on their teams, or to those that might need to get that info out to others. Letting everyone know who they’re going to hear from and who to contact if they have questions is a must.
- Keeping phones up and running – Having the ability to still answer your phones even when you’re not in the office is huge. Clients that can’t get ahold of you is never an ideal situation. We have a hosted VOIP system that allows us to send and receive calls just like we were still in the office. These come with options to use your cellphone or your laptop as your desk phone, even when you’re not at your desk. Also, if you have multiple lines that need to be answered then delegating those lines ahead of time so that everyone knows who will get what will make getting the phone answered a little easier for everyone.
- Remote Access – Having the means to still have access to company resources (network drives, documents…etc.) is a big deal. If you can answer your phone but you can’t get answers from a report that resides on a company server it doesn’t help much. Having the ability to get to those resources, and again be able to work as if you were sitting at your desk, is very important to keep production going even in bad weather.
- Backup Generators/UPS – Having a backup generator at your office might be a bit much for some. Who stays to keep it running and is it worth the risk? We are fortunate enough to have an automatic backup generator at our office location. If we lose power it automatically kicks on and keeps the main resources (servers, phones, switches…etc.) up and running. This with a good UPS for the small amount of time it might take for the generator to kick on is a must as well. It’ll help keep everything online while the generator kicks on. Hopefully it would only be a blip in power and it will come right back on, but it’s always good to have something watching the in-between.
- Internet Failover – A lot of times this gets overlooked. There have been times when we’ve lost one internet provider and have had to rely on the other to keep everything going. Not only has this helped during storm issues, but can come in handy regularly when you might run into an issue with your primary provider and need something to fall back on. It’s not always the most financially available option for everyone, but if you can, it is another layer of protection for you and your clients as well.
By having a good plan and technology in place, knowing who should be handling what and who needs to be contacted, are all important steps that you can take to make sure that work is still being completed and productive; and at the same time, handling the most important part which is keeping everyone safe from the wonderful weather that might be happening outside.
By Brian Easley | People Science Director of IT