Louisiana Flooding 2016: MSPs, CSPs Assist Disaster Recoveries for Business
Amid the massive Louisiana flooding and associated power outages, IT service providers across the state are helping customers of all sizes to keep their businesses running. In some cases, the business continuity services include free, open-door offers for workers who need office space and Internet connectivity to kick off the workweek on Monday, August 15.
One MSP serving the region has identified roughly three customer offices in the area that have been completely destroyed. Some of those customers will leverage the MSP’s office space on Monday morning. An employee for the service provider has also lost his home amid the flooding, but all staff members are safe and accounted for. ChannelE2E has not revealed the MSPs’ name, pending permission from the company.
More than 24 inches of rain have fallen since Wednesday some areas of Louisiana, making the disaster a once-in-a-century weather event, according to the National Weather Service and media reports.
Although some drier weather arrived Sunday, the situation could get worse before its getter better. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency — which is effective through Saturday, Sept. 10. Gov. Edwards is warning citizens and business owners that the flood waters will likely continue to rise as rivers continue to absorb the rain that has already fallen.
Louisiana Flooding: Tracking the Disaster and Recovery
As of mid-day Sunday, Aug. 14, the Louisiana flood toll includes the following data points:
- More than 7,000 people have been rescued from their homes, multiple news outlets reported;
- many of those residents across a range of parishes (i.e., counties) are now heading to shelters;
- roughly 20 of those parishes/counties have declared emergencies, Gov. Edwards said;
- more than 100 roads are closed, CNN reported.
- Power outages continue to impact several thousands customers across multiple parishes as of 6:50 p.m. ET on Sunday, according to Entergy.
- Cell phone service in the Baton Rouge and Livingston area is reported to be out. AT&T explained the outages in a media statement Sunday afternoon.
Louisiana Flooding: Business Impact
It’s unclear how many of Louisiana’s small, midsize and large businesses will be impacted by the floods — but the potential disaster recovery efforts could be far-reaching.
Louisiana has nearly 80,000 small businesses that employ a combined 892,000 people. An additional 345,000 businesses are single-person companies. Overall, roughly 54 percent of businesses in the state have 500 or fewer employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state also has some massive companies — including Fortune 500 names like CenturyLink and Entergy.
Louisiana Flooding: Business Continuity
Some IT service providers are working through the weekend, preparing to help customers to open for business on Monday — even if some physical buildings remain dark.
A key example: Puryear IT is setting up a free Command Center to help displaced businesses get back to work. The center, available on a first-come/first-served basis, is set to run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time this week. It includes free Internet, power and air conditioning — along with a conference room. You don’t need to be a Puryear IT customer to use the office space — but you do need to check in with CEO Dustin Puryear (phone: 225-706-8414, x1112) to determine availability. Roughly 12 seats are available.
ChannelE2E is checking in with a range of MSP, CSP and business continuity specialists that serve the Louisiana area. Key specialists in the region include Computer One, Bayou Technologies and Sygnvs (which, ironically, is set to host a data protection conference in September).
Sources say some MSPs and CSPs accelerated their cloud-centric customer backups ahead of the storm, but we’re waiting for one or two folks to go on the record with the stats.