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Student Hurricane Preparedness Guide

The student hurricane preparedness guide was created to help you prepare accordingly in the event of a hurricane. Please carefully read the recommendations provided and take the necessary preparations to help ensure that YOU are prepared to continue operations during and after a disaster.

This guide outlines the steps that IT takes for Disaster Recovery. IT refers to Disaster Recovery as the process and procedures that are related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure only. Be sure that you do your best by planning ahead to ensure a smooth recovery after a storm.

Update your CougarAlert emergency contact information:

Prior to the storm, be sure that your CougarAlert information is up-to-date in MyCharleston. CougarAlert will relay emergency information through phone calls, emails, and text messages using the contact information that you have listed in MyCharleston.

Why?

  • The College will communicate important updates and information with you via the CougarAlert. Be sure that your contact information is correct so that you are receiving these important notices in the event of an emergency.

How?

Create backups of your files on your computer:

College data that you save locally (ex. C:drive) to your computer, YOU should save to an encrypted USB drive or Google Drive. Plan accordingly for any files that you may need to access and edit during and after a storm.

Why?

  • Your computer and other devices can be damaged and inaccessible during and after a hurricane. If you only save data to your local drive (ex. C:drive) and your computer is damaged, the files on the computer may NOT be accessible. IT encourages you to always save college-related data to an encrypted USB drive or Google Drive whether or not a storm is approaching. You never know when you might have computer issues.

How?

  • Save your College-related files to Google Drive. You can access the tutorial and more detailed information at Google Drive Tutorial for College of Charleston Students; OR
  • Purchase an encrypted flash drive (such as the Lexar Echo ZX USB) to store any files that you may need to access and edit during and after a storm. You can purchase an encrypted flash drive through Amazon, Apple, Dell, etc.

Keep your computer equipment safe:

If a hurricane becomes a threat to the campus, you should take the necessary steps outlined below to protect your computer equipment and hardware (ex. printer).

Why?

  • You are responsible for ensuring that your computer equipment and hardware are protected. Please be sure that you do your best to protect your equipment so that when you return to campus everything is working properly.

How?

  • We’re happy that you asked. IT will send out an official message alerting you to proceed with the following computer preparations at that time:

  • Take laptops/tablets home with you along with important files. You are responsible for the data on your computer.
  • Unplug your desktop computer and equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) from the electrical outlets as well as the data jacks. (Make a note of which data jack you removed the cable from because not all of them are activated.)
  • Move any computer equipment and any hardware away from windows and areas which are prone to possible flooding or leaks.
  • Cover your computer and other equipment with a heavy duty trash bag.

Know which applications MAY and MAY NOT be available during a hurricane and plan accordingly:

Why?

  • In the event of a hurricane and depending upon the severity, certain campus resources may NOT be available or have certain limitations. Usually, if applications are hosted on campus (i.e. databases and servers are stored in the Bell Building) then the applications may not be available a short time before, during and after the hurricane. If applications are hosted (meaning that they are stored in another location off campus) then the applications will most likely not be affected.

How?

  • IT has compiled a list of applications and resources that may and may not be available during a storm. It is your responsibly to become familiar with this list and plan accordingly. The College could re-open after a hurricane but campus resources such as OAKS may not be available if the server room (where the hardware for the system is located) is damaged. You can review the list of applications at the end of this document.

Review some other helpful tips:

  • Review readiness guidelines for personal safety at ready.gov/hurricanes.

  • After the storm and the power is back on, wait until there are no blackouts or surges before plugging your equipment back in. Be sure that critical equipment has a surge protector attached.

  • Talk to your professor about their procedures on how to contact them in case of an emergency. It may vary depending upon your professor. Be sure to store your professors’ emergency contact information in a safe place. Do you have two different email addresses for your professors? Your professors CofC email and phone may be down.

Applications List

Please note: Depending on the severity of the storm, this list is subject to change. There are many uncertainties about what will be available/functioning and not available/functioning during and after a hurricane, including power, campus internet services and internet service providers throughout the the region.

The following is the list of campus applications that may NOT be available:

CofC hosted applications may be affected by a hurricane and may NOT be available during a hurricane. Please plan accordingly and do not rely on the below applications before, during, and immediately after a storm:

  • OAKS Learning Management System
  • Outlook Email (staff and faculty email system)
  • Echo360
  • MyCharleston

Please note:

  • If you have a question about the availability of a specific application, please email helpdesk@cofc.edu.

  • If you use the above applications and need access to them during or immediately after a hurricane, be sure to backup the data to an encrypted USB drive. Always plan ahead.

The following is the list of applications that will likely be available:

There are applications that are hosted off campus and in the event of a storm will likely remain available accessible from the web and the product’s homepage.  These include:

  • Google Apps (Drive, student email, etc.)

Other applications in which you’ve purchased a license for or are using a free account should remain available through the product’s homepage.  Examples include:

  • VoiceThread
  • Evernote

If you have any questions or concerns, please email helpdesk@cofc.edu or contact us at 3-3375.

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