Colorado Fires Threaten IT Businesses, Remind Them About Disaster Recovery

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Amnet's own servers are backed up using the services of Austin, Texas-based Artisan Infrastructure, Dierdorff said. Amnet's customers primarily use technology from Atlanta-based eFolder for online backups.

Dierdorff, in a Tuesday blog post that included several photos he took of the fire, chided the people of Colorado Springs for their complacency about potential disasters.

Residents of Colorado are lucky they don't get hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes, and that they seldom get a lot of snow, Dierdorff wrote.

"What if your business building was intact, but the police or fire department was going to keep you out of it for days or even weeks? Could you still serve your customers? Probably not, if you own a restaurant, retail store or hotel. Of course, that answer varies depending on what type of business you have and whether or not you have remote access," he wrote.

Dierdorff also outlined several basic steps businesses should take to prevent or minimize loss in case of a disaster, including documenting business assets and IT infrastructures, having a process in place for contacting clients and staff, determining how staff should react in a disaster and outlining who has access to business continuity plans if the top executives are not available.

"Remember, everything you do before a disaster strikes determines the likelihood of remaining in business after the disaster," he wrote.

While businesses close to the fire worry about how it will impact their operations and those of their customers, other businesses far from the fire are also feeling the heat, at least figuratively.

Michael Houghtelin, owner of TechnologyBytes, a Colorado Springs-based technology store that works with local end users and small businesses, said that while his business and its customers are on the side of the city away from the fire, it is still monitoring customers' backups.

"We can see the smoke," Houghtelin said. "This morning, we saw large pieces of ash all over the ground. Right now my nose is plugged because of the smoke."

Geography and luck determine how many companies will fare in the fire.

Hewlett-Packard, which has a large presence in the Colorado Springs area, closed its facility there. A company spokesperson said the facility as of Wednesday morning was within 1.5 miles of the fire.

NEXT: Wildfire Impacts And Geographical Location

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