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5 Disaster Recovery Tips To Keep Your Voice Communications Up After The Storm

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Nov 27, 2012 10:48:00 AM

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Is This San Francisco's Superstorm Sandy?

A look at the weather forecast for the coming week doesn't look good.

Starting Wednesday, November 28th, a big tropical Pacific low pressure system will drench Northern California in rain throughout the week and into the weekend.

Meteorologists are predicting 6-10 inches of rain and lots of snow in the higher elevations. 

Weather Channel Issues Flood Warning For Northern California

The Weather Channel has officially issued flood alerts for most of the Northern California Area. 

A MAJOR SHIFT IN THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL BRING WET AND WINDY WEATHER TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BEGINNING MIDWEEK AND LASTING THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HEAVY PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED WITH HIGH RAINFALL RATES FIRST ON WEDNESDAY THEN AGAIN ON FRIDAY. DEBRIS FLOWS ARE POSSIBLE... ESPECIALLY NEAR AREAS BURNED IN RECENT FOREST FIRES. URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING IS LIKELY...

California Businesses Are Vulnerable

Business interruption due to Acts of God are common in California. We often get hit with powerful winter storms straight from the Pacific and of course experience regular seismic activity. We all fear the next "big one".

During severe storms like Superstorm Sandy, your family always comes first, of course. 

But how are your business communications systems? Are they vulnerable to severe weather? Do you even know? Companies often take great pains to protect their regular data systems but then neglect their voice communications systems.

Ask yourself:

  • During the storm will your office be reachable by phone? 
  • Do you have a plan in place for employees? 
  • Does your company have customers calling from around the world for sales and/or service?
  • How many days can your business survive with callers getting a ring-no-answer?

5 Disaster Recovery Tips for Your Business

While natural disasters can't be prevented, many business outages are often the result of poor planning, prevention and recovery measures and not the storm directly.  To add insult to injury,  most insurance policies don't cover damages when human error is involved. 

To mimimize the damage and get your business up and running ASAP, we put together these 5 disaster recovery tips for your business' communications system.

1. Telephone Circuit Redundancy Plan

The circuit provided by your local service provider (AT&T, TelePacific, XO, CBeyond, etc.) is the  weakest link of your telecommunications system. They're exposed to the elements and therefore can suffer the most damage. For this reason, any company who has a disaster plan must also have a circuit redundancy plan.

While most carriers offer analog lines as a backup for their PRI service, it provides limited calling capacity. Plus, if you’ve lost power, your PBX is damaged or your office building damaged, calls going through the backup service will go unanswered. In this case, often an off-premise PBX solution will provide the back up you need. 

2. PBX Data Backups

You should always maintain two current data backups of your PBX. One copy of the backup should be stored at your location and the other stored in a separate location. Most telecom vendors will maintain a remote backup of your system if you are under a support plan.

3. Telecommunications Power Protection

A properly engineered UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) will keep your telecommunications  system operational during a short power outage. In addition, it's important to have electrical  protection to protect your system from power surges, spikes and brownouts that occur during storms and earthquakes. Most UPS systems provide both backup and power protection.

Keep in mind that the longer the duration of the outage, the more battery capacity required, which in turn, translates into greater space requirements and higher costs. 

4. Quality Service Vendor

You’ll want to make sure that you have an established relationship with a quality service vendor

5. Telecommunications Support Plan

A support plan with your telecommunications vendor is the most important disaster recovery element you can have. Most support plans customers receive data backups, priority response times and better availability of parts when needed. This could be critical to how your business gets up and running again. 

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About the Author

Randy Kremlacek

President | Head Chef

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Randy Kremlacek is president and Head Chef of TeleDynamic Communications and is a Digium Select Partner and 2013 Pinnacle Award winner. TeleDynamic Communications provides turnkey premises-based PBX and hosted PBX, SIP Trunking and Unified Communications. Randy Kremlacek prides himself on knowing the telecommunications industry as well as he knows his way around his own kitchen. READ MORE

 

 

Randy Kremlacek 

Topics: Administration