9/11 Disaster Recovery
Situation: Two clients were unexpectedly dislocated from their World Trade neighborhood offices following the 9/11 disaster. During the disaster the city was trying to recover from the terrorist attack, emergency services had taken over the city, marshal law was in control of security downtown, temporary office space was extremely limited and our clients were devastated while trying to develop a recovery plan.
Solution: We provided our clients a safe haven to regroup at our office for free. We then assisted them in developing staged recovery plans, worked to clean and recover the systems where possible, followed up our work with reports the client could use for their insurance claims and provided much needed resources which assisted them in staying in business.
One of the clients needed to have their complex worldwide accessible network split into three locations. We connected a few of the web servers to our office immediately and they regained their web presence. We then configured a rack environment for their heavy-duty systems with a new firewall in a fortified location. Following this, we assisted the client in salvaging the equipment in their main office and in creating a useable network from the systems that were still working so they could perform their day-to-day operations.
Lessons Learned: Disasters happen when we least expect them and those who prepare for these events fair much better as their recovery plans are executed rather than developed when working through the actual disaster. During a crisis people are stressed, resources are limited, onsite equipment and backups are damaged and people can start to loose hope. We recommend that all companies at least discuss what a disaster would mean to their staff/business, and the steps needed for them to survive it.