I just had an hour long marketing webinar with a Pennsylvania businesses sales team. As we started the call the host had a power outage but was able to quickly recover – from land line to cell phone I think – due to Sandy. This storm is pretty bad.
However, for those businesses that want to REALLY ensure they are as productive as possible during this storm and are READY here’s a few tech (and a few non-tech) things you can do.
- Ensure your car has a full tank of gas (not to travel but to use the cigarette lighter to power devices)
- Get a mobile car charger so you can use your car’s cigarette lighter (not only during a storm but any time you’re in the car). Amazon or Radio Shack sell them.
- Why have ONE notebook? I have 3 notebooks. I know everyone can’t afford three, but if you can even save an old one, you’ll have at least several, several hours of batter power, if your power goes down and you really MUST work. Check that your notebook batteries are full charged. Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba all make great notebooks.
- Use mobile broadband so you have at least a few hours of Internet access if your telephone lines go down. If the CELL TOWERS in your area go down – you’re toast and the mobile broadband gadget won’t even help you. Verizon Wireless Jetpack is what I use.
- Ensure you have FULL remote access to your files and applications. For file remote access – do you have VPN access to your office’s server? If the power goes out in your office, your server will go down. Do you have your files hosted online? – Google Docs, Office365, Dropbox, Egnyte, Box.net, SugarSync or other services work wonders.
- For remote access to your office computers try Gotomypc, Logmein, PC Anywhere (and others all work wonders).
- Communicating with remote staff is critical in times like this and you have several options – Zoom.us, Gotomeeting, Fuze, WebEx and many, many other solutions
Here are some general and tech business best practices from NYC Small Business Solutions
- Have lists of all employees, key customers and clients, suppliers, shippers, and vendors – along with their phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses
- Secure insurance policies, agent contact information, vital business records such as bank account and tax records in a waterproof, fireproof, portable container
- Back up computerized records and protect the backup copy / ensure the electronic data back-up is on a portable hard-drive or stored at a remote location
- Take equipment, computer software / hardware, and furniture inventories
- Relocate expensive equipment to floors 3-7 where possible or move it to the most heavily constructed interior area of the facility – in areas which could be subject to surge flooding, move equipment to floors above the possible surge level
- Cover vulnerable equipment which cannot be moved with plastic sheeting to minimize damage in the event of roof leaks or broken windows
- Move all merchandise, equipment, stock, etc. that is on floors that could flood to pallets or shelves, to protect them from flooding
- Compile a list of emergency vendors, such as plumbers and restoration contractors
- Make copies of essential business policies, plans, and agreements
- Take photographs of the business and equipment, both inside and out, to help with insurance claims
- Prepare for a possible loss of utilities by having battery-powered lights, a battery-powered radio, a supply of potable water, and if possible, an emergency generator