Hurricane Dorian Intensifies: Could Your Facility Weather the Storm?

08/30/2019 | By BUILDINGS Editorial Staff

Hurricane season is upon us, and it’s time to ensure that your facility is prepared to weather the storm.

Hurricane Dorian continues to intensify in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to make landfall near Florida by Monday. With a forecast that says it could reach Category 4 upon landfall and sustained winds of around 130 mph, CNN reports that it may be the strongest hurricane to hit the east coast since 1992. Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for all counties in Florida.

There are still 13 weeks left in the Atlantic hurricane season. And though your building might not fall in the path of Hurricane Dorian, the news is likely to fill Americans’ newsfeeds this weekend, and should serve as a reminder of the importance of hurricane preparedness.

[On topic: 5 Ways to Fail Your Building’s Disaster Response

Businesses, facilities, buildings and government offices in hurricane-affected areas can expect to experience network downtime, impairing emergency response and recovery efforts, disrupting business activities, and impacting the ability to keep mission-critical operations running smoothly.

Continuity during disasters is imperative for businesses and government agencies,” says Mike Cook, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Hughes Network Systems.

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“Broadband satellite services provide network connectivity that continues to operate when terrestrial networks, including cell towers, are severely damaged. Incorporating satellite services into emergency planning and response activities enables businesses and government agencies to maintain uninterrupted internet connections needed to facilitate disaster response and day-to-day operations such as sending and receiving emails, processing orders, sharing information and checking inventory. We encourage businesses and government agencies to follow our recommendations to ensure that they stay connected during the hurricane season.”

[Read also: 10 Common Mistakes in Your Emergency Action Plan]

Hughes offers some tips to make it through hurricane season with your operations unhindered:

  • Have a back-up generator and plenty of batteries on hand. Maintaining electrical power will be a top priority. Without electrical power, you will not be able to maintain your internet connection.
     
  • Subscribe to a resilient, high-speed internet service, such as satellite broadband, so decision makers and emergency operators can stay connected, as well as to ensure that your email, product orders and other critical information can be maintained should your terrestrial network fail.
     
  • Prepare and protect critical data. Evaluate which applications and data are essential, such as Continuity of Operations (COOP)/emergency response plans, accounting documents, inventory logs and constituent information; back up the information in a timely manner, and store the data in a safe, secure and dependable facility. Since data may be lost due to flooding, consider storing data at an off-site location.
     
  • Keep at least one corded phone connected to a wall jack to ensure that your office has telecommunications service in the event of an electrical-only outage.
     
  • Do not hesitate to go on alert. If you believe you are at risk of losing service for an extended period of time, put your web-hosting provider on alert.

​This article was published on June 1, 2011 and was updated on Aug. 30, 2019, by associate editor Sarah Kloepple.

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