The most critical step in being able to recover from a disaster is being prepared for one in the first place. Anyone who has actually managed a business' recovery from a disaster knows that the most critical factor when it comes to business and operation continuity is having a plan in place before the disaster strikes. In an emergency, the most wasteful use of workers' time (and sometimes their safety), is in setting up makeshift IT triage—that is, on-the-fly access to data and applications after a disaster. Disaster preparedness means having, at the very least, the data and apps that are required to keep day-to-day operations already running in a remote location and ready to access. Also it's practically guaranteed that, after experiencing a disaster, a company will not be running with its full staff. In short, IT contingency in wake of emergencies should be as seamless, as compliant with corporate security policies, and as easy for end-users to access as possible.
Easier Than Ever Such disaster preparedness is easier than ever for companies to deploy because of changing trends in technology.
So, why are many organizations still not on-board with creating strong disaster preparedness plans? Almost three-quarters of the largest segment of business and the economy, SMBs, currently do not have an emergency contingency plan. Purpose: The Incident Telecommunications Plan provides information on contact information and radio assignments for each operational period.
Preparation: The Incident Telecommunications Plan is prepared by the Communications Unit Leader in the Logistics Section and given to the Planning Section Chief for inclusion in the IAP (as required).
Distribution: The Incident Telecommunications Plan is duplicated and given to all recipients as part of the IAP.
At Northern911 our core business is helping people in times of need and handling emergency calls.
At our prime location we are served by a primary ISP on dual redundant diversely routed fiber paths.


In North Bay we are served by both the prime ISP and by an alternative supplier, again on alternate facilities. Should one server fail, the services running there will automatically fail over to the other servers. We have a local switch to handle our 911 and critical traffic during switch maintenance etc.
We operate an IBM Storage Area Network (SAN) with dual controllers, dual network cards, and dual power supplies etc. Systems that we have deemed critical replicate their application data to our North Bay facility. Systems that we have deemed critical replicate their data to the North Bay site in near “real time”. All critical devices that we operate either come with dual power supplies from the manufacturer or are plugged into a special device that allows power from two sources.
In the event of a failure of the grid, we have an auto start generator that powers up in about one minute to run the entire building.
Disaster planning is part of our culture and we analyze ways to serve our clients better on a regular basis. Purpose: The Medical Plan (IMS 206) provides information on incident medical aid stations, transportation services, hospitals, and medical emergency procedures, for emergency responders. Preparation: The IMS 206 is prepared by the Medical Unit Leader and reviewed by the Safety Officer t. Distribution: The IMS 206 is given to all recipients as part of the Incident Action Plan (IAP). While disaster recovery will always involve some on-fly decision making and adapting to realities on the ground, both of these can be made orders of magnitude easier by having contingency plans and systems already in place, and staff who are already trained how to implement them. Disaster recovery (without proper preparedness) may mean IT scrambling to find a place to set up a replacement server, take a copy of the data and applications from the damaged server, and then restore that data and re-install mission-critical apps to give end-users the alternative access they need to continue key operations.


Often, such implementations in the wake of an emergency, are not properly configured, may be insecure, and may not meet required corporate compliances, such as HIPAA. It also means having trained end-users how to access that in-place, contingent data so they can continue to get to the systems they need, whether they are working on company-issued machines or their own mobile devices. IT employees, who would setup these temporary disaster recovery fixes, may not be available or present to implement them, so redundancies need to be built in, and plans clearly documented, so that whoever needs to step in can do so. Cloud computing, virtualization, and the continuing increase of always-connected and relatively powerful mobile devices in the hands of end-users are all key ingredients in deploying a strong and effective disaster preparedness solution. In a recent survey conducted by Symantec of IT decision-makers in small- to-mid-sized businesses, only 26 percent have a disaster preparedness plan in place. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to explore historic sites, parks and recreation facilities, beautiful scenery and community events in the Municipality of Huron Shores that you should not miss!
Information from the Telecommunications Plan on frequency assignment is normally placed on the appropriate Assignment List (IMS 204). This back up location was chosen to be geographically separate in the event of a large disaster. Information from the plan pertaining to incident medical aid stations and medical emergency procedures may be noted on the Assignment List (IMS 204). We provide 911 (E911 and VoIP) Call Routing, Alarm Monitoring, Fire Dispatch and Telematics dispatching.
In this first of four articles on disaster preparedness, we tell you how to start thinking about disaster preparedness and how to gather the information you will need to create an effective, efficient plan for recovering from whatever fate throws at you.



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