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Stormy Weather Checklist: What to Do Before a Major Storm

The following guidelines should be followed in order to protect computer equipment before a storm arrives:

  • Generally speaking, move all equipment close to windows to a safer location, usually an interior closet or an inside corner of a room. If some equipment cannot be moved, try to enclose it as much as you can with tape and plastic bags such as garbage bags or a tarp.
  • Specifically:
    • Shut down and unplug all computer equipment including PCs, servers, monitors, printers, routers, switches, phones and phone systems.
    • Turn off and unplug surge protectors and battery packs.
    • Bag and seal all equipment to protect from water damage in case a window breaks or the roof leaks.

    Please follow this order in shutting down your systems:

    1. Turn off any printers.
    2. Save your work and turn off desktop and laptop computers.
    3. Turn off your secondary servers if any, and then your main server.
    4. Turn off backup devices.
    5. Turn off your network switch.
    6. Turn off your firewall or router.
    7. Unplug telephone handsets.
    8. Turn off your telephone system.
    9. Turn off your Internet provider’s equipment (cable, DSL, satellite, or T1 modem).
    10. Unplug and turn off all surge protectors and battery packs for all devices.

    Getting Back Running After the Storm

    Even after the storm passes, damage to equipment can still occur. This damage is usually caused by post storm power surges or outages while the power company begins to restore power to the affected areas. It is best to receive the “All Clear” from your power company before reconnecting your valuable equipment – which connects to your valuable data

    • Physical recovery can begin once you’ve assessed the damage to your property. This will include removing all bags on computer equipment and moving all of it back to their original locations. During this phase, any equipment that may have been exposed to water or damaged will have to be inspected more closely to determine whether it needs to be replaced. Leave those items powered off and please call Sterling Rose to inspect them.
    • Equipment should remain powered off and unplugged from the electrical outlet until the electrical power in the area has stabilized. Failure to follow this procedure can cause extensive damage to equipment from power surges and repeated or rapid-succession power outages.
    • Once the “all clear” is received from the power company, core systems and infrastructure should be restored first. These include routers, firewalls, switches, servers and telephone systems. We highly urge and recommend you follow the order below – AND wait until an item finishes loading completely before moving to the next item.

    Please follow the order below:

    1. Plug in and turn on all surge protectors and battery packs for all devices.
    2. Turn on your Internet provider’s equipment (cable, DSL, satellite, or T1 modem).
    3. Turn on your network switch.
    4. Turn on your firewall or router.
    5. Turn on your telephone system.
    6. Turn on your main server first, then other servers if any.
    7. Plug in telephone handsets.
    8. Plug in and turn on desktop and laptop computers.
    9. Plug in and turn on backup devices.
    10. Plug in and turn on printers.
    11. Activate any other peripherals.

    As always, call us if you have any questions. Our office phone is 973-433-6676. You can also text our mobile phone – 973-590-4470. When communications systems go down, text messages use less data bandwidth than voice conversations on cellular networks.