(The following blog entry is a refresh of the original blog entry “Clever Ideas That Can Save Your Network After a Natural Disaster”, originally published June, 2019)
Just the news we were waiting for…
For the seventh year in a row, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center (NOAA) is predicting an above-average 2022 hurricane season. https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/noaa-predicts-above-normal-2022-atlantic-hurricane-season
Forecasters believe there could be between 14 and 21 named storms. Of those, between six and 10 could become hurricanes, with three to six of the hurricanes developing into major Category 3, 4, or 5 storms.
But is this really a surprise? Just like mudslides in California, tornadoes in the midwest, nor’easters along the northern coastal Atlantic, and fires along the west coast, stuff happens. It’s inevitable.
Whatever form a natural disaster may take, one way or another there will be times when we all must deal with at least one and maybe more of these situations.
But here’s the good news. There ARE steps you can take to prepare your network, and even mitigate the effects (and potential downtime) of a force majeure. Here are some ideas:
- Visually inspect your antenna, and look for potential points of failure. THINK. What type of issues could be imposed upon the system should a natural disaster occur? Is your dish locked down tight? Are your connections tightly wrapped with waterproof tape? Lightning can wreak havoc on your network. Are your ground connections clean and tight? What about the LNB? Is it secure? Even more important – do you have a spare?
- Check the antenna’s foundation. Don’t overlook this step. After heavy rains we have seen foundations shift, leaving a network with a spotty signal at best. Don’t take that chance. Do what you need to do now to shore up your foundation.
- Mitigate the threat of tree limbs and flying debris. Very few networks can go through a Cat 5 hurricane unscathed, but it doesn’t take winds of 160 miles per hour or more to take out an antenna. I have witnessed dishes that were crushed after being hit by a tin panel off a nearby transmitter building…antennas that, likely, would have otherwise been fine. It’s worth a couple of conversations with a structural engineer (and an arborist if you have trees nearby) if you can minimize your frustrations and downtime after a catastroph).
- Mark your dishes. Literally. Take a black permanent marker and place a mark on the cap and the pole where the azimuth and elevation mount meet. After heavy rains and high winds, this little trick can save you a lot of time and aggravation, and aid in your quick network recovery after a storm.
- Consider an external backup. Our Network Operations Center is staffed 24/7/365. Why not give us a call at LinkUp? We could easily (and affordably) pull together a customized disaster recovery plan that works for the specific needs of your network. Don’t wait for an emergency to take action. Call us today. Rather than dreading the inevitable, let’s work through the possible scenarios together and take the steps that ensure your network stays on the air – no matter what Mother Nature brings to your doorstep.