Blake Dowling: Is your tech ready for Ian?
Opened laptop and stormy sea waves out of screen. Mixed media

As real as it gets. Mixed media
The bottom line — you have to do what you feel comfortable with during a storm.

As another hurricane descends upon our state panic has gripped part of our populace already.

In our sales meeting this morning a colleague says he saw people buying up all the cat litter at the store yesterday. That, my friends, is up there with the great toilet paper shortage of 2020.

The water bottle thing is interesting to track also; I have lived in Florida for over 20 years through many storms and guess how often the water has gone out in a storm? Zero.

Granted, these are areas that did not experience disasters, I am certainly not overlooking the devastation we have seen in our state and the lack of the basics in those instances.

I hope no area of Florida experiences total destruction or loss of life.

Fuel hoarding is also over the top; I saw Alix Miller from the Florida Trucking Association bring some common sense to Twitter this weekend with a reply to the Miami Herald saying topping off your tank is the wrong advice; let those out of gas fill up, versus everyone running to the pump.

Thank you, Alix, for weighing in, common sense you would think would prevail as we all have been through this over and over but here we go again.

The bottom line — you have to do what you feel comfortable with during a storm.

I recommend that staff work from home, leave town, take care of family and home first, then worry about work.

I will be heading up to the office, rain or shine (power or not) to be ready to help our clients who need help with their technology.

When Michael hit, that consisted of insurance agencies, a couple of elected officials, a roofing company, and a beer distributor. Insurance, beer and politics must go on it would seem. There was an election not too long after Michael; so, no joke, we were setting up cellular wireless access at polling locations.

With regards to the others, beer must reach the market, and insurance and roofing are obvious why they were working.

My last column was dedicated to my colleague Brad Mitchell.

Brad died last week after a fight with cancer. I will never forget my interaction with him the morning after Hurricane Michael. I was solo in the office, no power, sizing up what our resources might look like for the day, making sure everyone on our team was safe.

In comes, Brad, ready for the zombie apocalypse.

He had flashlights, food, booze, a military cot, a laptop, hotspot; he said, “what can I do to help.” God bless him (and rest in peace, my friend), as he made that post-hurricane day a lot more manageable for me, and many of our clients.

Back to today, as you prepare your team for the storm, don’t forget to run through a checklist on your technology.

Time to confirm your data backups work.

Call your IT person or whoever manages them and have them check them.

Get your emergency backup cellular internet connection ready. If you don’t have one, ask your internet provider for one next time. The new norm is a primary internet connection, a secondary internet connection and an emergency cellular connection.

Please also walk through your tech and communication closets and make sure no gear is on the floor in case of flooding.

Double-check that you have emergency numbers ready for key personnel ready.

Also, be 100% on the lookout for scams post-storm.

Criminals and hackers launch fake storm recovery emails after an attack, others knock on doors asking for deposits for roof repair and vanish, and others call trying to phish info out of you. Do not fall for these scams.

Good luck with your planning and I hope everyone is safe this week as we get ready. Continue to go through your checklists, have your call trees, and rally points, and I am signing off as I have to get in line for cat litter. Be safe out there Florida.

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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