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Preparing For A Disaster: How One Houston Client Stayed Functional During Hurricane Harvey

On Friday, August 25, Hurricane Harvey hit landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas causing catastrophic flooding throughout the Houston and Corpus Christi areas. Thousands of homes and businesses were flooded and people stranded with almost nowhere to take shelter.  One of those many businesses affected is a large Houston based Engineering firm that is a client of XPERTECHS.

While corporate offices are in Houston, the firm has eight other locations throughout Texas. As the flood waters caused the shutdown of the Houston headquarters and three other locations, the offices in areas where there was no flooding were open for business. Besides the employees still needing access to all of their data to continue business as usual operations, the firm was being asked to provide critical data about flood zones and evacuation routes. Luckily, they had a disaster recovery plan in place which allowed them to respond and meet the expectations.

How To Protect Your Data When Disaster Strikes

Flooding occurs in the Houston area frequently. Realizing this the Engineering firm worked with XPERTECHS to develop a disaster recovery plan that would move all critical IT components to a data center and the cloud. If disaster struck the Houston area, their data would be safe and they would be able to continue business as usual from anywhere in the country.

The firm hosted all of their infrastructure in a data center away from their headquarters and implemented connectivity to allow every location access remotely. The redundancy of the data center allowed for the other offices, in areas such as Dallas and San Antonio, to access data files even though the Headquarters office had no power and was experiencing flooding.

Previously, XPERTECHS also migrated their email to Microsoft Office 365 which allows the users to access their email through Microsoft’s cloud without the worry of an on-premise Exchange server. Without connectivity or power, no one in the company would have been able to receive or send emails. This was critical as the company has assisted in the construction of the local infrastructure and needed to communicate with the local government on bridges and drainage systems that were affected by the flooding.

Finally, the Engineering firm migrated their phone system to a Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) solution. As with their data in the data center, this allowed their employees and clients to still communicate and hold conference calls as the system is in the cloud and not affected by power outages and flooding.

Are You Prepared For A Disaster?

By developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan, this XPERTECHS customer saved their business tens-of-thousands of dollars or even worst, losing all of their data and equipment due to flooding. Because this organization took the necessary steps before disaster actually struck they were able to carry on business as usual, with little to no interruptions, and their employees were able to perform their daily duties.

So, the question is, is your company prepared for a disaster like Hurricane Harvey?

You may be thinking that nothing like Hurricane Harvey could hit your area, BUT, no area is safe from power outages, severe storms and natural disasters. A tropical storm, tornado, or snow storm could move through your area and cripple your business for weeks, if not months, if you are not properly prepared.

Can you take that chance?

Here are some questions you should ask yourself to determine if your organization could survive a disaster situation…

  • Do you have a detailed Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan that will minimize downtime and data loss?
  • Is all of your critical data hosted in a data center with redundancy or on a cloud solution such as Microsoft Azure?
  • Do you have a good backups that are stored in the cloud?
  • Does your email currently live in a cloud environment such as Microsoft Office 365 for accessibility from anywhere, on any device?
  • Will you be able to use your phone system remotely in the event of a disaster?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you are not fully prepared for when a disaster strikes.

Because we want to make sure your technology is safe and ready for anything, we are offering a FREE Disaster Preparedness Audit to any business that wants to evaluate where their IT system is vulnerable to failure in the event of a natural disaster. Even if you already have put some of the above safeguards into place, you will still want to take advantage of this no-obligation audit, as it could unveil areas of your network that are still not protected from a catastrophe.

To schedule your Free Disaster Preparedness Audit, give us a call today at 410-884-0225.