Content, Business continuity, Channel partners, MSP, Channel technologies

Hurricane Irma Monday Updates: 5.7 Million Florida Power Outages

Hurricane Irma's impact was felt across the entire state of Florida. Now, visit our Hurricane Irma Aftermath Blog (updated daily) for a look at the biggest disaster recovery effort in U.S. history.

The coverage below tracked the Irma as it moved across the state.

Monday, Sept. 11 Updates

Power outage map...

Source: SunSentinal
Source: SunSentinel

The storm path...

The update as of 6:47 a.m. ET Monday, Sept. 11.

  • Storm Path: Although Irma has weakened considerably, the hurricane still threatens millions of people and businesses as it moves from Florida into Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina, CNN reported. In Georgia, Atlanta faces a tropical storm watch through Tuesday, and some school districts in Alabama will be closed Monday.
  • Business Continuity Efforts: We'll be checking in with a range of sources today to see how they're navigating power outages within their own businesses and/or customer settings. Also, storm surges and flooding remain serious risks in multiple areas.

Sunday, Sept. 10 Updates

The update as of 11:19 a.m. ET Update:

  • Power outages: More than 1.43 million customers across 27 counties in Florida are without power as of 11 a.m. ET, according to Florida Power and Light, as reported by CNN. Nearly 700,000 customers are without power in the Miami-Dade area, the report said.

8:40 a.m. ET: The update...

  • Storm Path: As we've previously reported, major technology companies like Tech Data and ConnectWise of Tampa are in the storm's path. Miami already has rivers of water running down some streets.
  • Power: More than 400,000 people have lost power so far, according to Florida Power and Light.
  • AT&T: As the hurricane approaches, AT&T has topped off fuel generators, tested high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites and is protecting physical facilities against flooding. AT&T has also staged emergency response equipment in strategic locations, the company says. Its national reliability center is monitoring outages for quick action, AT&T added.

Saturday, Sept. 9 Updates

8:45 a.m. ET: Irma's eye was due to strike part of the Florida Keys early Sunday morning before driving up the state's southwestern coast toward Tampa Bay by Sunday afternoon and into the night, according to CNN.

  • Tampa: Key Tampa-based companies in the storm's path include ConnectWise, Tech Data and Marketopia. ConnectWise, for one, has been headquartered in Tampa for 30+ years so the company has a long-established disaster plan, the company says. The company's cloud-based services are dispersed across Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure to ensure all data remains safe, a spokesperson says. For the most up-to-day information, partners should visit
  • Miami: Miami tech businesses also have geared up ahead of the storm. Kaseya, for one, has assembled a team of experts across the company to form the Kaseya Disaster Response (KDR) program. The program is designed to get partners and customers up and running rapidly after a disaster. It features dedicated phone and email contacts unique to each disaster, the company said. The company has sent KDR support service notifications to all Florida and Texas customers amid Irma and the recent Hurricane Harvey. Partners can find details here.

Friday, Sept. 8 Updates

7:25 a.m. ET: Alltek Services (Lakeland, Florida), which has 60+ local clients, has touched base with all customers on what to expect. All data is being replicated onsite and offsite at a secure data warehouse. Alltek, owned by Tom Bowles, has also shared this guidance with customers. 

7:00 a.m. ET: IT services providers in Georgia are starting to extend Irma warnings to customers. Centerpoint IT, for one, has offered this Irma heads-up to customers, noting that Irma could hit Atlanta as a tropical storm. The company plans to offer 24x7 on-call support for customers throughout the potential storm.

Kevin Greiner

6:51 a.m. ET: Utilities and power suppliers are taking the storm seriously. In Florida, two nuclear plants are shutting down ahead of the storm. And in Georgia, Gas South is closely tracking the situation. Gas South CEO Kevin Greiner told ChannelE2E:

"At this time, we are monitoring the situation and staying in close touch with those team members who live in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Savannah to ensure that they remain safe. Unlike electric service which is more prone to the elements, natural gas service is unlikely to be interrupted. However, our business customers are likely to have interruptions in their operations – short and, potentially, long term. Storm damage is hard for any business to recover from and that's a paramount concern for us. We are hoping for everyone's sake that the storm shifts off to sea."

6:38 a.m. ET: According to CNN and the Orlando Sentinel:

  • In Florida, all public K-12 schools, state colleges and universities and state offices will be closed Friday (Sept. 8) through Monday (Sept. 11).
  • Orlando International and Orlando Sanford airports will suspend flights starting Saturday evening.
  • Central Florida could begin feeling tropical-storm-force winds by Saturday night, with Irma expected to hit the area as a Category 2 storm — packing maximum winds of up to 110 mph — late Sunday night or early Monday morning, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
  • In Puerto Rico, nearly 60,000 customers are without water, CNN said.
  • The island of Barbuda, which has 1,800 residents, estimates that 95 percent of its buildings were damaged by the storm, CNN said.
  • Hurricane Jose, a Category 3 storm, also is in the Atlantic heading toward some islands.

Wednesday, September 6 Updates

8:45 p.m. ET: Ulistic, which offers MSP marketing services, has closed its Sebring, Florida, office, and employees are evacuating to points outside of the predicted impact zone. The company's business continuity strategy leverages Jive hosted phones, Microsoft Office 365 and zero onsite servers.

8:10 p.m. ET: The storm's strength is not to be underestimated. Irma destroyed the four strongest buildings on the island of St. Martin, French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb told reporters, CNN reported.

7:25 p.m. ET: A statewide Chambers of Commerce conference call -- representing all major metropolitan areas across Florida -- is scheduled for Thursday, September 7, according to Jacksonville Chamber President Daniel Davis, as quoted by The Florida Times-Union. The call will help chambers roll out coordinated communication plans to local businesses across the state. Among the key topics of discussion: How soon to close businesses and send employees home.

Jason Dettbarn, CEO, Addigy

2:30 p.m. ET: Addigy, which develops RMM (remote monitoring and management) software for MSPs and their Apple Mac customers, is exiting its Miami headquarters during the storm and heading north, according to CEO Jason Dettbarn. Addigy's IT systems will be safe because they're built with disaster recovery failover within Amazon & Google, Dettbarn says.

He adds:

"The only centralized resources to truly care & worry about is our staff. Our core staff will be relocating outside the state to keep overall operations in check. I've learned from experience that even with HurricaneWilma (a Category 2 storm, but was large and slow moving) a business can have weeks without power, so Addigy is paying to relocate staff to get somewhere safe and stay online to best support our global customers."

11:40 a.m. ET: Datto, the MSP-centric data protection company, is dispatching a Datto Disaster Response Team to the area affected by Hurricane Irma -- which I suspect means they'll huddle in Northern Florida while monitoring the situation in Southern Florida. Similar to Datto's Hurricane Harvey response, the team will carry a stock of Datto storage, networking and business protection devices. All Hurricane-related tickets will be prioritized to help partners and their clients get back up and running as soon as possible. Check in with the company to hear about special offers and shipping services as well. As always, any warrantied Datto devices destroyed as a result of the hurricane will be replaced free-of-charge, the company says.

6:00 a.m. ET: For tourists, the Florida Keys are now under mandatory evacuation.

The Category 5 storm is the strongest ever tracked in the Atlantic Ocean. Irma has made landfall in Antigua and is heading toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. By Saturday (Sept. 9), one storm model indicates, the hurricane may pass over the southern tip of Florida. Another model has it moving inland and passing over Orlando and Disney World.

5:45 a.m. ET: AppRiver has activated its Digital Disaster Recovery Program -- an emergency email continuity program provided free by AppRiver to businesses facing imminent natural disasters. The company has made the service available during times of need since 2005.

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 8:00 a.m. ET

Among those gearing up now: Ulistic and participants in the company's MSP marketing programs. Ulistic today is pushing a Business Continuity checklist to its MSP partners across southern Florida, according to Stuart Crawford, CEO and creative director. Those partners, in turn, can push checklist details to there clientele.

Among those working closely with Ulistic: ECW Network & IT Solutions, an MSP in Deerfield Beach, which is in the Miami area. ECW is already receiving storm preparation inquiries from customers, according to ECW owner Eric Weast.

Tuesday, Sept. 5: Hurricane Irma Storm Track

It is still too early to determine if or how Irma will impact the United States. Forecasters expect the storm to travel south of Miami sometime between Saturday (Sept. 9) and Sunday (Sept. 10).

Florida Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency -- essentially putting state and local governments on alert to begin storm preparations.

The storm could pack quite a punch. Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph, data from a hurricane-hunter aircraft show, according to CNN as of 8:04 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

At a Category 5 level, Irma is currently stronger than Hurricane Harvey at that storm's peak strength. Harvey slammed Texas and flooded the Houston area in August 2017, triggering one of the largest cleanup and recovery efforts in U.S. history.

Tuesday, Sept. 5: IT Services Businesses In Florida

A lengthy list of IT services-focused businesses are located in Florida. Key names and locations to know include:

  • Southern Florida: Kaseya and Addigy are in the Miami area. Autotask Community Live, the company's annual customer and partner conference, is set for Sept. 17-19 in Hollywood, Florida (near Miami) about a week after the storm potentially hits.
  • Mid-Florida: Tampa area companies include ConnectWise, Marketopia and Tech Data.
  • Northern Florida: AppRiver (Gulf Breeze).

We'll be checking in with those companies and others as Hurricane Irma's storm path becomes clearer.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.