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Assessing Tools for Maintaining Command and Control in a Disaster

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It's 11:00 PM on a warm Los Angeles evening when it hits: a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. You instinctively turn on the television when the ground stops shaking, only to see live coverage of your place of business in flames. You pick up your phone to mobilize your Disaster Recovery team, but there is no dial tone. You try your wireless phone, but all circuits are busy. Now what? There really are ways to avoid these problems if you plan ahead: Leo Wrobel shows you some tricks in this article.
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In a disaster, there is no substitute for instant reliable communications with those who can help. Conversely, there is no more lonely a feeling than when cut off and alone. Imagine a hospital, bank, reservations center, travel agency, help desk, 911 center, or large retailer. Millions of dollars course through facilities like these every day in cities just like yours. But what if there were an interruption in telephone service? What if there was a fire, an earthquake, a tornado, or terrorism? Even in cases where money is not the main concern, lives could well depend on the continuance of services you provide. What is your plan if disaster strikes? Who would you call? How would you contact them? Where would you send your inbound calls?

"Houston, We Have a Problem."—Astronaut Jim Lovell, Apollo 13, April 13, 1970

We just finished three articles about using satellite communications in a disaster. In one of those articles, I offered you a bit of a teaser. I asked this question: How can a business or other organization redirect its inbound calls after a disaster? I also asked this: How can an organization restore its inbound telephone calls and ensure that its customers (as well as those that are dependent on its service) can still get through?

In this article, I will share a few technologies as well as techniques I have discovered that simplifies this process and that are readily available fairly cheaply besides!

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