Internet and data connections have become mission critical for many homes and businesses. At PenTeleData, we've been proactively planning for outages for many years now. We've instituted a rigorous schedule of preventative maintenances, during which time all generators are load tested, batteries in UPSs and DC plants are tested and environmental controls are inspected. It's a constant work in progress, but please be assured that the reliability of your service is our top priority.
It's important for households to prepare for emergencies too. Since your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, you'll want to plan for a variety of situations. The following are suggestions from the FEMA website www.ready.gov.
- Build an emergency kit that includes the following items: water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both; flashlights and extra batteries; a first aid kit; a whistle to signal for help; dust masks to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place; moist towelettes; garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation; a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities; a manual can opener for food; local maps; a cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
- Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan. Remember to address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities. You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
- Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Text messages and the internet often have the ability to work in the event of a phone service disruption.
- Program "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone.
- If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power.
- Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
- For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, email, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks.
- Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in a password-protected area in the Cloud or a secure flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available.
- Refer to emergency resources like the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov and the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.