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Be Prepared for Hurricane Matthew – A Technology Preparedness Checklist.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to back up your files and secure your technology, before the storm arrives.

Cape Fear Networks has been in the Wilmington area since 1989.  Six of our staff members are born and raised North Carolinians (which is a rarity for a small company like ours).  We’ve been through a hurricane or two and know how serious it can be. We also know that many of you are preparing your family and homes for the storm. The safety of family and friends is, of course, the number one priority. It’s also smart however, to include a technology preparedness checklist in your planning.

Take a moment to think about your technology at home and at the office. This is especially important for those of you who own businesses, or who rely on the files and data saved on your computer. Files and data saved on local computers and within local servers could be at risk during a storm.  Here are a few things you can do to prevent a serious data loss.


Hurricane Technology Preparedness Checklist

  1. Make sure you have a backup of your important data, and take it with you.

You probably already know that it’s good practice to frequently backup your data and files to an external hard drive or off site location. This practice is extra important during times of inclement weather.  Make sure you have an offsite backup of your data, not just one at the office.  Back up your files onto a hard drive (and remember to take it with you) or upload important files to a cloud based server.

  1. Turn off all computers and servers at close of business on Friday.

Take time to completely power down all computers and servers before you leave your home or office. If your computers and servers are not plugged into a surge protector they should be unplugged from the power source. Electricity can come and go during the storm, and these fluxuations can cause major damage to electronic devices.

  1. If your area is prone to flooding, put all computers on top of desks or other high and dry locations, away from windows.

Even if your area is not prone to flooding, you may still want to take this precaution. Water is obviously the enemy of electronic technology.  You don’t want to risk even a little bit of water coming into contact with your electronic devices.

  1. Do not turn on any equipment until the storm has passed and power is stabilized.

You may be tempted to turn on your computer, to check for internet access or other news.  However, it’s important to keep your electronics unplugged and off until the storm has passed.  As we mentioned above, electricity surges can be damaging to your hardware during a storm. Power surge damage can also be difficult or even impossible to repair.

Taking these steps should help you secure your data and keep your electronics as safe as possible.  However, should anything happen during the storm, Cape Fear Networks offers computer repair, data recovery and other IT solutions. Let us know how we can help.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Because we care about the safety of your family, pets and friends, please make sure to review the following Red Cross Ready List. We want to make sure everyone is prepared for the upcoming storm. Stay safe Wilmington!

  1. Water
    • At least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day
    • Bottled water is a convenient solution.
  2. Food
    • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
    • Don’t forget if you have canned food a way to open these without power
    • Types of food to consider;
      • Peanut butter and jelly Sandwiches
      • Breakfast bars
      • Chips/crackers for snacks
      • Paper plates and cups
  1. Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  2. Flashlight
    • Make sure you have multiple flashlights (one for each person) as you don’t know how you might be split up and or simply needing a backup.  Flashlights can stop working for other reasons other than batteries.
  3. Gasoline and propane
    • Make sure to fill up all vehicles.  There will be a run on gas prior to a storm so make sure you do this early and there may be delays getting gas stations up and running post storm.
    • If you have a grill you may want to fill up on propane.  It’s a great way to cook while you don’t have power.
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • This radio has good reviews from Best Buy
  5. Cell phone with chargers
    • Additional batteries for phones if possible
    • Home and Car Chargers
  6. Extra batteries
    • don’t forget batteries for lanterns, portable fans, radios and flashlights
    • rechargeable power banks to recharge cell phones when there isn’t power
  7. First aid kit
    • These can be bought at your local stores starting at $10.
    • You should think about it including things like Neosporin, Aspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen.  Also if you’re allergic to Bee stings this is a good time to make sure the proper medication to treat this.  I’ve seen Bees especially aggravated during storms.
    • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  8. Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, contact solution, syringes, cane)
  9. Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Multi-purpose tool – I personally feel this is a bit Macgyver-ish – If you don’t have something like this just put together a small tool bag of the following tools;
    • Hammer
    • Nails
    • Screw drivers
    • Knife
    • Hand saw
    • Plyers
    • Electrical tape
    • Duct tape
    • Eye protection
  10. Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Tissue paper
    • Toilet paper
    • Towel paper
  11. Clothes
    • Clothes to get you through a few days
    • Hat and sturdy shoes (lace up shoes)
    • Rain gear
  12. Emergency blanket/pillow
  13. Copies of personal documents (these items should be kept in a fireproof box all times of the year anyway)
    • Medication list and pertinent medical information
    • Proof of address, deed/lease to home
    • Passports, birth certificates
    • Insurance policies
  14. Family and emergency contact information – make a list of phone numbers you might not have access to them in your phone
  15. Extra cash
    • This is would be in case stores aren’t able to take credit cards
  16. Map(s) of the area – especially if you’re not comfortable moving around without navigation/GPS
  17. Pet supplies
    • Collar (you can get updated tags at the local pet stores)
    • Leash
    • Food and water (for three days just like you)
    • Bowls for food and water
    • Any medication needed
    • Carrier in case you have to transport them.  This carrier should be for them to stay securely if you have to move to a shelter or somewhere else.
    • If you are thinking of taking your pets with you to a shelter, make sure you have your vaccination records with you.
  18. Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Make sure you know where any keys are to gates/fences and storage sheds etc.
  19. Camera for photos of damage
    • I would even suggest walking through your house documenting each room prior to a storm