Upon the declaration of a hurricane watch you should take these initial precautionary steps to:
Backup and Secure Data Files
Your data files are valued information assets. If you have access to a network File Server it is recommended you copy critical information files to the server. Please limit file server use to data files only. You do not need to copy programs or the operating system or otherwise backup your entire workstation. Programs and the OS can be easily restored but the data cannot! If you don’t have access to a file server or network, backup critical files to disk, CD Rewriteable disks, or USB memory keys. Be sure to carefully label or note the contents of the backup and test it to make sure the contents can be read again. The backup copy should be stored in an alternate, secure location in the event your office or storage location sustains extensive damage. If you use a laptop, be prepared to take the system home or to a shelter with you.
Prepare to Store and Protect Computer and other Electronics
Clear space in your office/area that will allow you to move computers away from windows and up off of the floor; preferably towards the center of a room. Locate the best place/method for unplugging the unit. This may mean unplugging from the back of the computer if the wall outlet is inaccessible. Make some notes or drawings to your self about where things are connected to your computer. Eg. printer, monitor, power, network, keyboard and mouse.
1) Finish Updating Data and Secure Documents
Undoubtedly, you will have some data and information in paper form that you will not have time to update/enter on the information systems. Make sure this information is accurately noted and stored in a safe place, preferably in a file cabinet or desk drawer 2 feet above the floor. Use a heavy clip to keep papers/folders together
2) Computer Storage
As a last step, your computer should be shut down properly and unplugged from the wall outlet. Do the same for the monitor and all peripherals such as printers, scanners, and speakers. Tape any notes you made concerning connections to the computer or otherwise secure them for future reference. Move the computer and peripherals away from windows and doors towards the center of the room. The equipment should be securely supported at least two feet from the floor and covered with plastic bags or sheeting provided by physical plant operations staff. Do not cover equipment that is plugged in or powered on.
3) Take Backups
If you have not already done so, put your critical file backups with your personal belongings and be prepared to take them with you when you leave.
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