Customer Hotline: 912.634.1691

Coastal Buzz

The latest technology news and what it means for you.

Hurricane Matthew IT Alert - How to Protect Your Computers and Contact Us

Coastal Computer - Wednesday, October 05, 2016



In the first of a series of posts, we are providing information on how to prepare for the impending hurricane and how you will be able to communicate with us before, during and after the storm. Throughout the next 48 hours, and over the course of the next week, we will make additional posts to update you on service availability.


Information on how to contact us and stay up-to-date during the storm:


Coastal Computer Consulting, LLC utilizes many cloud based solutions, if you have Internet we strongly recommend keeping up with us on social media for the latest updates. We will be posting important information starting now and throughout the next week:

Coastal Computer Facebook Page


You can also find information right here on our blog:

Coastal Computer Blog


For our clients who have access to our client portal this is cloud based and will continue to work during the storm:

Coastal Computer Client Portal


Our email is also cloud based and will work during the storm, the best email address to use for help is:

support@coastalcpu.com


As far as reaching us by phone, we have three phone service providers: Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. While we are preparing to have access to phone service we are not sure which one, if any of the phone companies will be functioning. Should you get any messages about the phone line not being in service, a disconnected line, please know that this is due to the phone systems forwarding to other companies, or the phone companies are having issues.


In the event you cannot reach us via phone, please continue to try or contact us using the methods outlined above.


After you make sure your loved ones and possessions are safe and secure, the next step is to make sure your computers and electronics are ready to weather the storm.


Please note: These steps are provided as a convenience to our clients and readers of our blog. At no time will Coastal Computer Consulting, LLC be held liable for damages which arise directly or indirectly from following these steps, or from failure to do so. It is your responsibility to make backups of your important data and follow all safety precautions when handling electronics during severe weather.


Follow these steps to protect your computers and IT during the storm:


  1. BACKUP ANY IMPORTANT DATA TO AN EXTERNAL DEVICE

    1. CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR BACKUP IS VALID and has the information you wanted to backup.

    2. Disconnect your backup and take it to an offsite location.

    3. Depending on the amount of data and your network, you may also backup to the cloud. Don’t rely on cloud connectivity to make a backup moments before the storm. For absolute certainty make a backup to an external hard drive.

    4. For an additional backup measure, end users on business networks and home users should BACKUP YOUR IMPORTANT PERSONAL INFORMATION from your ‘My Documents’ or ‘Documents’, ‘Photos’, ‘My Pictures’ and other folders to a USB thumb drive or backup drive.

    5. Backups are your responsibility, Coastal Computer Consulting, LLC accepts NO responsibility or liability for data loss.


  1. SHUT DOWN ANY PCs AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES, AND UNPLUG THEM FROM THE WALL SOCKET.

    1. ALL SERVERS SHOULD HAVE A VERIFIED BACKUP - CHECK TO MAKE SURE THE BACKUP IS VALID, THEN TAKE IT OFFSITE. Backups are your responsibility, Coastal Computer Consulting, LLC accepts NO responsibility or liability for data loss.

    2. Make sure surge protectors are also disconnected and not left connected to an outlet and sitting on the ground.


  1. COVER ANY COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS IN PLASTIC TO MAKE THEM “WATER RESISTANT”, THEN ELEVATE THEM OR MOVE THEM TO ENSURE THEY ARE NOT EXPOSED TO WATER OR FLOOD-PRONE AREAS.

    1. DO NOT COVER ANY COMPUTERS OR ELECTRONICS WHICH ARE CONNECTED TO A POWER OUTLET OR ARE TURNED ON! FOLLOW STEP 2. ABOVE BEFORE COVERING YOUR EQUIPMENT.

    2. AFTER THE STORM, NEVER plug in or turn on any electronic device that sustained water damage, or appears to be exposed to water, including those covered in plastic!


  1. PREPARE TO BE OUT OF POWER OR TELEPHONE SERVICE BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE STORM

    1. Prepare for outages or intermittent internet/power for up to 10 days.

    2. Setup a call forwarding number for any important business lines.

    3. Keep important working documents and files on a thumb drive.

    4. Use business laptops and portable devices sparingly or NOT AT ALL until absolutely needed to conserve battery life.

    5. Lower the screen brightness on laptops and mobile devices to conserve battery life.

    6. Charge all your electronics WELL BEFORE the storm hits, then DISCONNECT them, and their adapters from the wall (see above).


  1. DON’T RISK LIFE OR LIMB FOR YOUR DATA AND DEVICES

    1. As important as those photos or documents may be – before, during and after the storm, you, your personal safety, and the safety of your loved ones and neighbors are more important.

    2. Don’t use mobile devices while driving before, during or after the storm. You should never text and drive, this is doubly true during severe weather.


For more details, check out these articles about keeping your computers and electronics safe during Hurricane Season:


Preparing Your IT for Hurricanes in the Coastal Area - Part 1 - Planning

Preparing Your IT for Hurricanes in the Coastal Area - Part 2 - Executing Your Plan


And, we've got an article on the best apps to use before, during and after a storm:


Roundup: Best Apps for Hurricane Season


Please make sure your loved ones and possessions are all secure...and then MOST IMPORTANTLY: MAKE A BACKUP OF ANY IMPORTANT DATA