Northern California Carr Fire: MSP Seeks Donations

Apex Technology Management Inc., an MSP in Redding, California, is calling on laptop manufacturers, friends, businesses, and other MSPs nationwide to donate to the Technology Relief Fund – Carr Fire.

The goal: Raise money to purchase new laptops or Chromebooks to help local families get back online and communicate more effectively -- especially as kids return to school.

So far, the Carr Fire in Northern California has burned more than 200,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,600 buildings -- of which 1,077 were homes, according to multiple news reports.

Apex is in the region and has roughly 30 employees in the Redding, according to Director of Sales and Marketing George Passidakis. In an email exchange earlier this month with ChannelE2E, Passidakis explained the fire's impact so far -- and the continuing threat that it posed to local residents and businesses. The information below is current as of August 3.

The Carr Fire: An MSP's View

At the time, the fire came to within two miles of Apex's office. The company worked to ensure all clientele had good off-site backups. Apex's BDR solution does this daily, and is monitored -- but the MSP also performed a manual check to be sure customer data was protected. The company offered to help additional businesses that needed to get backups or secure their technology.

Apex VP George Passidakis

"Many businesses (and homes) were evacuated as the fire approached city limits," Passidakis says. "We assisted in the evacuation efforts while also making sure our staff and their families remained safe."

As the fire entered the City limits and homes began to burn, power lines were affected and some areas experienced power loss. The electrical grid became unstable and rolling blackouts were imposed to ensure there would be enough power for first-responder and firefighting efforts, Passidakis notes.

The company has been sharing this ABC News video to reinforce the fire's impact:

Video link

Businesses were impacted in multiple ways. Passidakis says:

  • Some needed help getting back on-line when servers had trouble starting back up.
  • Others suffered Internet service failures -- including some that had burnt fiber lines.

The Apex support team responded to those calls and others, finding ways to bring customers back online again.

About one-half of Apex's staff was evacuated and had to move into temporary shelters or other homes out of the danger area. Depending on each situation, some employees were out for two to three days; others were out longer. While evacuated, a number of employees worked remote ly, while the rest of the team worked from Apex's physical office, Passidakis says.

Carr Fire: Long-Term Recovery

The region's recovery won't be easy. Many businesses face the reality that employees lost homes or were evacuated. "Longer term, the relief and rebuilding efforts will be major undertakings," he says. "This will have an impact for years. Longer term will see many construction companies needing services to continue the rebuilding effort. There could be a strain to provide those services."

Still, the community is united. "Everywhere you go there are signs thanking the firefighters, police, Highway Patrol and National Guard that are local or have come here (over 5,000 people) to help," he says. "The sign-making businesses ran out of base materials to make signs."

All of the hotels and motels are full of first responders trying to get a few hours of sleep before going back out to the fire, he adds.

Apex is looking for peer MSPs to donated $200.00 each -- or whatever is within their means. "We could really help get the families who lost everything back into position to communicate, begin the rebuilding effort and allow their kids starting school to have a computer."

Special thanks to Ulistic CEO Stuart Crawford for connecting Apex and ChannelE2E.

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.