Shelter from the Storm: How to Protect Your Systems When Severe Weather Hits

By Bob Kennedy, Chief Engineer
Protect your UPS and PBX systems from severe weather.

Surviving Severe Weather

Whether you live and work in the path of hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, or blizzards—which pretty much covers most of the land masses in the world—there’s one question you might want to ask yourself: If severe weather hits, will my communications system(s) be ready?

“Storms of the Century” such as the “polar vortex” that hit parts of North American with extreme cold in early 2016, to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and now Hurricane Matthew that is threatening much of the southern United States, all point to the need for organizations of every size and location to be prepared. That means taking a few basic precautionary steps to keep your communication systems functioning.

And while the Continuant team is always available to help our customers deal with disaster 24/7/365, there are a few things you can (and should) do ahead of time to keep your systems online and protected, no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.

UPS system

• Is your system(s) on a UPS?
• If so, when were the batteries last tested?
• Are your servers located as high as possible in their data racks? Are the cables tagged with locations? You might need to remove the server and move it to a more secure location. How difficult would it be to do this?
• Do you have generator power available? If so, do you have fuel enough to keep your generator running?


• Do you have enough slack in the cables to raise the cabinets up off of the floor?
• Is there access to a water pump in case of flooding?
• Do you have a way to block off any water to prevent it from entering your telephone equipment?
• If not, follow the steps below, and then power off your systems.

What to take to a high and dry location:

• One good backup.
• Risc card for Legacy Systems.
• Backup files for Communications Manager Servers: xln, security and OS. (Save them to a laptop that can be stored off-site. Run a backup to your voicemail platforms.)

Before you go, or when you get to a dry location:

• Run the “list configuration all” command. Print that to an Excel spreadsheet. This will list all the hardware you have in your system.
• On voicemail systems, run the system evaluation report. It will detail the components that make up your platform.

As a software advocate, you are entitled to your original software media (CD/DVD) and one copy. We recommend that you retrieve that good copy and store it in the same waterproof container that you are using to store your other critical components.

We suggest placing all of these important components in a laptop bag, then placing the laptop bag in a waterproof container where it can be quickly picked up and transported to a safe place.

To all of our customers in the path of extreme weather, Continuant will be there for you 24/7.

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