Disasters do happen here

Over the years at The Computing Center, we’ve cautioned many of our clients to have some kind of plan in case of a disaster.  Or we’ve recommended that clients make changes to their system environment that could be beneficial in the event of a fire, flood, or other natural or man-made catastrophe.  To be candid, we get quite a bit of push back.  Comments like:

  • “Nothing like that will happen to us.  Our building is secure and safe.”
  • “We do backups of our data.  What else do we need?”
  • “We have insurance, just in case!”  (Our insurance clients NEVER say that!)

These past few weeks have shown that our corner of Central New York is not immune to the wrath of Mother Nature.  Two tropical storms dumped record amounts of rain on our friends to the south in Tioga and Broome Counties.  Even at this writing, there are still homes and business that are not fully pumped out.  There is tons of mud and debris to deal with and people are still without utilities.  All of our local human service agencies as well as hundreds of volunteers are spending many hours providing greatly needed donations of food, clothing, money and time to help support and rebuild the affected areas.  

The Computing Center has a number of clients in the Binghamton and Owego areas.  As it turns out our clients in Binghamton have offices and factories primarily south of the city and although they did have employees affected by the flood, their businesses were not severely affected.  Unfortunately Owego is another matter.  The Susquehanna River crested at one of its highest levels ever leaving many hundreds of homes and businesses flooded.  All utilities failed or were shutdown downtown Owego.  And people and business will struggle for a long-time to rebuild from the flood.

One of our clients whose offices are in downtown Owego did a project several years ago to move their computer technology from the basement of their building to their 3rd floor.  As it turns out, the 3rd floor was far enough.  Although they lost power and building access for nearly two weeks, all their major equipment was undamaged.  The basement, first floor and part of the 2nd floor were underwater.

A smaller client who had a great little office along the river just outside of Owego with a beautiful view had more of a scramble to save their technology and their business.  As the river was rising, they literally tossed important paperwork, valuable office equipment, and their primary computer server into a car and drove off.  We ended up getting their systems working and physically hosting their server for a week while their staff that could, worked from home.  We just re-housed their server in a temporary new location.  

Unfortunately, we are also aware of a number of businesses in Owego and in Binghamton who were not as lucky.  Many lost their entire computer systems infrastructure.  There are companies who lost all of their data with no viable backup.  Others have had to send waterlogged disk drives out to DriveSavers to recover their data.  Some of those businesses may not survive.  Not necessarily just from data loss, but from the overall disruption to their operations and personnel. 

Like a lot of aspects of running a business or organization, it’s challenging to think about Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity.  It is not fun to even speculate on what might happen.  But it does pay to have some kind of plan.  We can help.

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