Alphanumeric prepares for Hurricane Florence; works to ensure continuity of service to all clients

The Alphanumeric Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity (DR/BC) Team continues to monitor and prepare for the impacts of Hurricane Florence. Updates to storm response preparations will be provided as the storm approaches the North Carolina service area and impacts are realized  It is anticipated that impacts from Hurricane Florence will begin Thursday, extending throughout the weekend. Due to the severity of the storm we anticipate that the service area will see impacts extend into next week. Please be advised that we are taking every step necessary to ensure continuity of services throughout the event.

The following are key informational items as we all prepare for this event:

  • We need ALL Managed Service clients who are preparing to power down servers and other key infrastructure to notify the Alphanumeric Service Desk, so that we can place monitoring services in maintenance mode. We will also need you to notify the desk prior to bringing  servers and key infrastructure back online. This is critical to ensure staff are not chasing false alarms during this critical period.
  • We have a DR/BC plan in place to ensure staff are available during the coming event. Please be advised that we will be implementing support protocols where some staff answering the phone or email may not be familiar with your specific account. This is necessary due to anticipated unavailability of normal staff for some period of time during the storm event.
  • All North Carolina-based Service Desk agents will be working remote beginning Thursday, September 13.
  • If you experience a non-emergency situation between Thursday, noon EST, and Monday, noon EST, we ask that you contact the Alphanumeric Service Desk via email. An agent will respond as quickly as possible. As always, if your incident is an emergency, please phone the Service Desk as usual.
  • Management will be placing front-end messages on the IVR throughout the event with relevant information pertaining to service availability.

The following are key recommendations for our clients to consider:

  • If redundant generator power is unavailable at your site, please plan to power down all servers and infrastructure equipment prior to anticipated power outages. This will prevent “Hard Down” scenarios that could damage equipment and cause data loss.
  • Create an internal communications plan with your staff or key stakeholders.
  • Distribute portable chargers that will provide a means to recharge cell phones in the event of extended outages.
  • Remind employees to keep all electric devices fully charged prior to loss of power.
  • Establish Skype or other type of conference bridge to facilitate communications between your management and employees.
  • If you support external clients, consider updating front-end messages throughout the event to notify clients and employees of operational status.
  • Test VPN connectivity for remote workers prior to the event.
  • Coordinate special response protocols with external clients.

We appreciate your business and understanding as we work through the impacts of what is expected to be a historic event for the North Carolina service area. Again, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in our planning efforts.  Please stay safe!!

Jay Baucom

Jay Baucom is the Senior Vice President of Global Operations and CIO of Alphanumeric Systems, Inc. He brings more than two decades of experience leading IT operations and management services to his role at Alphanumeric.