Data Security

Louisiana Floods: People First, Business Recoveries Second

Dustin Puryear

Amid the massive flood damage across Louisiana, many businesses are discovering that they can't get back to work because staff members are focused on more pressing priorities.

Updated Aug. 21, 2016: Louisiana Floods -- Six small business recovery center locations opening

"Many companies in Baton Rouge have intact facilities and power," notes Dustin Puryear, founder and chief technologist at Puryear IT. "But what they don’t have is staff. People are either focused on salvaging their homes or they’re helping friends and families do the same."

More than 1,000 volunteers from every state were descending on Louisiana Wednesday to assist relief efforts for what the Red Cross called the nation's worst disaster since Superstorm Sandy, according to NBC News. At least 11 people have been killed, some 40,000 homes affected and 30,000 people rescued in what officials have described as some of the worst flooding ever to hit the state, NBC estimated.

Some small businesses have been completely washed away in terms of their on-premises networks, though in some cases MSPs have restored customer data in the cloud. For its part, Puryear IT has opened its office doors to businesses in need -- providing a dozen free workspaces to those who require network connectivity and power this week.

Still, it sounds like the overall "business recovery" is taking a back seat to recovery efforts for thousands of people who suddenly find themselves homeless or displaced amid the flooding.

"There are huge amounts of volunteers helping to feed the suddenly homeless," Puryear says. "So the issue is less of physical damage to business facilities – although that is certainly a big factor – but more that the people here are more focused on helping each other through this than they are in filing paperwork or taking purchase orders. One interesting highlight is that just about every CEO I know is right there with them in the shelters helping to hand out food, clothing, sheets, and pillows."

Louisiana's Office of the Governor continues to offer updates on the flooding and associated disaster recovery efforts. Intense rain storms last week triggered the flooding.

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.