Friday, September 02, 2005

Technology Failures

One of the biggest lessons to learn from Katrina (again) is our dependency on technology. Here are a few quotes:
  • "...nearly all lines of communication to the Gulf Coast were decimated in the wake of the hurricane." - Logan Herald
  • Cell phone connections to the Gulf Coast are still spotty. Attempts to call Mary are likely to be met with an automated recording that says, "Due to the hurricane in the area you are calling, your call cannot be completed as dialed."
  • "...many New Orleans residents had no means to communicate their situation to the outside world. That's when the primitives of high tech - ham radio operators - came to the rescue." - St. Petersburg Times
Both Utah and Idaho have communications support (personnel and vehicles) headed to Louisiana.

Even Utah-based companies are re-evaluating their IT contingency plans:

XanGo LLC, a Salt Lake City-based producer and distributor of juices, this week was trying to determine the extent of damage suffered by some of its distributors along the Gulf Coast, said Darren Pulsipher, the company's director of IT.

Internally, meanwhile, XanGo is setting up new disaster recovery processes. The company plans to open an office in Japan, which will be a failover site in case of a disaster in Utah, Pulsipher said. He's also looking for a third-party co-location facility that's geographically far enough away from Utah to provide protection.

In addition, Pulsipher has brought in workers who are experienced in running full-blown disaster recovery scenarios. "We'll set up some scenarios to test our systems out to make sure we have everything covered," he said. "We have a large call center and are making plans to figure out what to do if no one can get to work because we're buried in snow here." - Computerworld

No comments: