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Disaster Preparedness for SMBs: Plan B for $150

With Eduardo starting to puff its way toward Florida, Orlando-based Vlad Mazek, the CTO of managed infrastructure service provider Own Web Now Inc., has come up with a quick-and-dirty disaster recovery plan that can be executed in under an hour for $150. The key elements: a prepaid cell phone, a Skype Dialin voice mailbox, an analog phone (for the “ride-it-out warrior”, says Mazek), and a disaster blog for coordination of staff.

After my experience with a no-warning loss of all Internet connectivity a few years ago, I can add the following things to that list:

  • A low-cost, password-protected website with a Wiki. We were able to keep a certain news operation running after the loss of all workflow by using a Python-based simple Wiki running with htaccess-based security on my $7-a-month personal web account.
  • Instant messaging and web mail accounts. If you can get connectivity, and you have everyone on a common instant messaging platform, you can quickly coordinate responses to a disaster. Webmail is also useful. But a better plan for SMBs is to outsource email to someone else–like Mazek’s company.
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