Many of us who own or work for small businesses don't always have the option of calling the IT Department every time there is a computer question or issue. The same is true during periods of emergency preparedness. However, when havoc strikes, there are several actions you can take to protect your data and technology.
Here is a few power outage tips to assist you and your business in protecting your assets:
- Establish the necessary servers that have to run during your power outage. What is the minimum you can still function with? What can you temporarily work without and what can you not do without?
- Ensure that all servers/computers/electronics have surge protectors. In the event of a storm or power outage, this will help buffer the hit to the device. If the computers/servers are being powered by some other source, a surge protector helps filter the power coming in and protects the computer/server.
- Use battery backups. The benefit of having a battery backup is that it will keep your computer/server up and running in the event of power loss. Some are small and will provide up to 30 minutes of time, while larger ones can give you a few hours. It all depends on how many computer/servers that backup needs to support. The more computers there are, the faster it drains.
- Generate energy. For prolonged power outages, generators are what will keep the computers up and running. A built in generator with automatic failover is the best option but can be expensive. At the very least, keep a few small generators handy as backup. *Remember* something can always fail! Determine beforehand how these generators will need to be hooked up to provide the best power to your equipment. Plan ahead which computers/servers will run off of which generator.
- Keep cool! In the event of a power outage, there is no longer a cooling air conditioner to keep your computers at an acceptable temperature. It will get very HOT quickly and the computers can start to shut down due to overheating. Fans are a great way to keep the air cool and circulating, but take into consideration the additional power needed from your generators.
All of these actions work hand in hand. When the power goes out, a battery backup will keep your vital computers up and running long enough to get the generator going. The surge protectors will help filter the power coming in thereby making it safe for your server. The fans will keep everything cool enough to function. But the first and most important action a small business can take to protect their data and technology is planning. Good luck!