April Showers: How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Is the weather this year driving anyone else crazy? I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to tell which season it is anymore, it changes hourly. So, along with making sure to dress in layers, it’s important to make sure your technology is equipped to handle the unexpected weather changes.

One potential side effect of unpredictable weather is power outages and power surges. When most people think “disaster” they don’t usually include a power surge or an overnight outage in this category, but the truth is that a small power outage or even just a power surge can have an incredibly damaging impact to your electronics. In fact, if you are not prepared for it, one tiny power surge can bring down your entire network. So here are a few ways that you can make sure your company can survive those small but deadly killers.

Off-site Backups

Having good off-site backups will be your saving grace should a power outage or power surge hit. It is important to stress the point here of off-site backups. Having local backups won’t necessarily do you any good because if the power is out in your building you won’t be able to use them. So make sure your offsite backup solution is kept up to date, and is really easy to use. That way you can spin up a virtual environment from your backups quickly, and lose minimal time.

Actually Using the Backups Correctly

Where you save your documents matters. You need to make sure you save all your important data to drives that are included in the backup solution, otherwise, having good backups won’t help. For example, if your company is backing up everything that is on the “S” drive, but you keep saving things to only your “C” drive, or even worse, your desktop, when the time comes to work from the backups the only data available to you will be anything you saved in the “S” drive.

If you aren’t sure which drives are being backed up, make sure to ask your IT professional. This is really critical information that every single member of your company needs to have. And more importantly, they need to follow the instructions of where to save their data.

Don’t Plug Equipment in to the Wall

This may sound strange, but you never want to plug your computers or servers directly into a wall outlet. If a power surge happens, it will fry the equipment. Instead, use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and/or a surge protector. Not only will you be able to plug in many more devices from a single outlet, but these will help protect your equipment from the damaging effects of an unexpected power surge.

Know how to work remotely

If there is a power surge or a power outage, and you are unable to work from your office, you will need another place to work. Fortunately, with a little bit of preparation, you will be able to work anywhere that has power and internet access.

There are a few different ways you can work from home: Remote in to your work computer, use VPN, or use Cloud-based services. For more information on these three strategies, and to figure out which one works best for you, check out this blog post.

April Showers might bring May Flowers, but they also bring unpredictable weather changes. If you take some time now to prepare your company for unforseen power outages and power surges, you will save a lot of time and productivity later.

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