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Look skyward during your disaster recovery planning

Dec 01, 20062 mins
Data and Information SecurityIT LeadershipPhysical Security

By Paul Kerstein

Remember, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when countless companies couldn’t communicate or rely on networks and other local infrastructure because of power and utility outages?

Media outlets inundated enterprises and executives with information about business continuity and disaster recover planning. Even came out with some useful resources on the subject, such as podcasts, or this interview with Former Army Colonel Dennis Treece about the need for a working support system involving emergency workers and their families The myriad of networks, mechanical or human, are important, but I wonder if companies are seriously considering free resources, such as the sun, to enable them to work off the grid.Consider another catastrophic event where every possible sort of infrastructure has been destroyed. There’s no electricity, wireless communication, no gas and other utilities, and the region has come to a complete standstill.Now imagine a man with a few days worth of stubble that has driven possibly 200-plus miles from a motel somewhere to his office building, which was impaled by an uprooted tree, had all its windows blown out and the inside looks like a tornado walked in the door and unleashed the hounds of hell. Not a pretty sight.He reaches into his pocket for his satellite phone to call and brief the CEO of the situation on the ground, but discovers the battery is near dead from the calls he’s been making en route to the office. He reaches into another pocket for another small cell-phone-shaped device, opens it, plugs it into his cell phone–and with the use of this solar charger he can charge his cell phone and start the disaster recovery process.Sound far-fetched? What if I said he could then grab a number of small to large chargers from his car and walk into the building, find the network servers and start powering them up as well?Heck, what if I told you it was possible to buy these chargers for as little as $50? Now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, buster, enough with the sales pitch.”And you’re right. (My apologies.) But I can’t help thinking how consumer solar-charging products, such as those from Solar Style, could start to change the way security professionals think about their emergency planning.Any thoughts on how they can be used in your business continuity and disaster recovery strategies?