As of 3:30 PM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, projections have Hurricane Irma producing tropical storm force winds in the Savannah area sometime Sunday afternoon. With the approaching weather, the Infinity team is staying busy: checking and rechecking backups and working on exit and re-entry plans. Like most of you, we will not have specific details to announce until the information is a bit firmer, but we are trying to prepare for any contingency.
Whether the next storm is days, weeks, or months away, you can always be more prepared. Review the Readiness and Disaster Recovery Checklists to ensure your business can handle whatever comes our way.
Emergency Planning Considerations
There are a few things we’d like to make sure you are aware of:
- Backups – If you are an Infinity LifeCycle client, you likely have a Datto Business Continuity appliance on your premises. This backup device ensures that you have a copy of your data on your server, a copy on the backup device, and copies in two datacenters. The more locations your data is in, the safer it is. We recommend powering off the backup device and taking it with you if you will be evacuating. Please contact the help desk for assistance with this.
- Email – In general, we recommend turning off all computer and network equipment prior to evacuation. However, please be aware that if you have an on-premise exchange server and you turn off your equipment, email will cease completely until you get back and turn it back on. For our LifeCycle clients, email flows through a filtering service that will store the email for you for a few days, so nothing will be lost. The service stores the email, but you will not have access to it until your server(s) come back on. If new emails need to be accessible, we can configure an ECS (Email Continuity Service) for you. This service provides a web portal for you to access your *new* emails. Please note: Only emails received after the service has been set up will be available to you on the portal. Once power is restored and your systems come back up, the stored emails will be sent to your regular email server. There is a $100 one-time charge for ECS, plus $3.00/mailbox/month for as long as the service runs. This service is only for premise exchange users. Please contact the help desk for assistance with this.
Office 365 users’ email should be able to continue to work on phones and mobile devices without interruption.
- Phones – If you are on a hosted phone system, the system should continue to work regardless of the storm. This is the beauty of the cloud. Remember to forward your calls to mobile phones if you wish callers to get through to you. If you are on a premise system, the only option you have is to forward the calls to an external number such as a cell phone or voicemail service. For either type of system, if you want to record an auto attendant message letting your clients know what is going on, please contact the help desk as soon as possible so we can take care of the request.
We are happy to provide any and all assistance you need to ensure your business remains functional and connected. Please let us know as soon as possible though. If there is an evacuation, we will need to ensure the safety of our employees just as you are taking care of yours.
It is our hope and prayer that our community is spared the devastation that has been seen elsewhere. Be safe, follow your plan, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything we can provide.