With Irma lurking, below are a few tips for severe weather, and protecting your valuable computer equipment. The most calls we receive at our helpdesk are weather related, whether there was a lightning strike, power outage, windstorm, or water damage. You want to keep your computers safe.

Tips for Severe Weather

  1. Print Daily Appointment Schedules for at least one week.
  2. Arrange to take critical media offsite. Make sure you take backup tapes offsite (if you use them) or put the tapes in a waterproof safe. It is important that these tapes are kept in waterproof storage.
  3. Power off/shutdown all lights, battery backups and office equipment such as computers, monitors, printers, modems, UPS’, calculators, typewriters, word-processors, copy machines, etc. Unplug all equipment if feasible.
  4. Check with vendors of specialty equipment (e.g. xray equipment diagnostic equipment, etc.) to determine if these require any special preparations.
  5. If you have any computers or battery backup units (UPS) on the floor, try to lift them up at least 3 or 4 inches to reduce the risk of water damage. This should be done whether you are on the first floor or the tenth floor of a multistory building. If a roof becomes damaged, water will travel down through each floor of the building.
  6. If you have equipment near a window, move it away. Debris flying due to strong winds will break even the strongest glass and double-paned windows.
  7. Cover all equipment with plastic garbage bags. Secure using rubber bands. Do this to all office equipment if possible. On larger equipment, e.g., copy machines, secure with packing tape to hold in place.
  8. Undock any laptops or portable devices and take them offsite.
  9. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

One of the most crucial keys to weathering a storm or other natural disaster is advance preparation. Even if you think a storm will not affect you, please be prepared. Recent history has shown that severe weather can do significant damage. There are a number of preparations that you can make that could help limit the disruption of your practice caused by a natural disaster.