Disaster Preparedness 101 For Businesses

Why have a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan?

It is difficult to comprehend the devastating magnitude that natural disasters pose to our economy. In 2013 alone, natural disasters cost approximately $192 billion, worldwide.  Hurricane Sandy was the costliest event occurring in the United States, resulting in an estimated $65 billion worth of economic loss between the United States, Canada, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Business Continuity PlanThink about it, what would happen if an unanticipated disaster occurred knocking your entire company offline, causing irreparable harm and preventing you from communicating with your customers and your employees while your business is significantly compromised?

As you can see, it is critical for any business to have a Continuity Plan in place. The simple question to ask yourself is, “Will my business continue to run in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophic event?” If the answer is “No” or “I’m not sure”, then it’s safe to say that you’re going to require a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan

Direct Line Tele Response has a robust Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan intact so your business can continue without interruption. We manage many important Medical and Government Agency calls including the American Red Cross. In any type of disaster, from server failure to much larger urgent events, we’ve got you covered 24/7/365.

How to Manage Disaster Preparedness for your Business

Our Call Center has developed a powerful two-phase Business Continuity and Contingency Plan in the event of natural disasters or catastrophic events. The first phase occurs when we leverage tested internal procedures using our backup systems that include our own generators and other resources that are “off the grid” which means our ability to provide services and protect your business is nondependent on public utilities.

Phase two, gives us the ability to route calls off site and utilize an ACD switch with our provider in the New England Area. If there is an event, such as a major natural disaster or something catastrophic within our corporate office such as a fire, we would be able to route the calls to this offsite switch for seamless processing. This tested plan ensures that you can maintain your services and continue business as usual.

Disaster Preparedness PlanWhat is important to mention and consider when creating your Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan is the fact that Direct Line Tele Response is audited annually by ATSI (Association of Tele Services International) so that we maintain our 24/7 Gold Site Certification which is the highest degree of Business Continuity Certification in the industry. 

Audit Areas include:

• Virtualized Servers: Our mission critical servers are in a virtualized environment so if any one physical server has issues, the other two nodes can handle the load. This system is then backed up to another server on site and nightly backed up offsite.

• Climate Controlled Environment: Our server room is climate controlled with a separate split air conditioning unit to keep optimal temperatures at all times. A continuous temperature watch system is also employed and our in-house and on call staff are notified immediately of any issues.

• Multiple Service Providers: Direct Line utilizes not only PRI-T1 technology for the bulk of our incoming call traffic, but we also have VOIP service over multiple internet connections as not only our primary outgoing call “trunking” but also our “failover” solution should our PRI traffic is disrupted in any manner.

• Alternative Internet Providers: As mentioned above, we have two internet providers, one via an Ethernet loop and one via cable. As you may know, AT&T handles the last mile of most connection points into any residence or business. By having a secondary means of internet that is not on the AT&T loop we are able to bypass our reliance on any one provider. Our firewall is not only used for security, but also can automatically switch between internet providers should one be inoperable.

• Generator & Uninterruptible Power System: Our Generator and Uninterruptible Power System or UPS is continually running so as to handle any variations of power from PG&E. This also allows us to bridge the gap of time prior to the generator powering on. Direct Line houses an onsite diesel generator that allows us ongoing service in the event of a power outage. The 100 gallon capacity provides three (3) to four (4) days of continuous service. We also have a strategic alliance with a fuel service provider in the extremely rare case that more fuel is needed.

• Safety Net: We are proud to now announce we have the ability to route calls off site and utilize an ACD switch with our provider in the New England Area. If there is an issue, such as a major natural disaster(s) or something catastrophic within our corporate office such as a fire, we would be able to route the calls to this offsite switch for seamless processing. This is the third source of backup for our system data and second offsite location. Call Agents are able to login from any PC and process all calls.

• Remote Staff: Part of our Business Continuity planning is to have some of our professional Call Agents located outside of our immediate geographical area. We have Call Agents located in Oregon, Texas and Nevada as well as in the Sacramento and Vallejo vicinities.

• Mobile Command Unit: We now have a mobile command unit with generator power that can be used to deploy in case of an office or more of an area-wide event.

Set Up a Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan Today!

Your business, clients and employees are too important to leave up to chance. With strong preparation in place, you can weather known natural disasters and catastrophic events alike — and even thrive in the face of them. Trust Direct Line with your emergency response answering services. Call us now at 1-888-365-2424 for a free, confidential consultation.

We are the perfect extension of your business.

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