Emergency Preparedness

The Information Technology 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 steps 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. Departments are responsible for their own business continuity plans should the campus applications and/or systems be down.

Update Your Cougar Alert Emergency Contact Information

The College will communicate important updates and information with you via the CougarAlert system. Prior to the storm, review your contact information for Cougar Alert emergency notifications in MyPortal and update if needed. You may also choose to download the Everbridge app on your phone ( App Store or Google Play) as an additional contact method.

Update Your Emergency Evacuation Plan Information (Students) 

Prior to the storm, be sure that your Emergency Evacuation Plan information is up to date in MyPortal. The College's emergency management team will use this information to assist you.

  1. Login to MyPortal at myportal.cofc.edu
  2. Click the Personal Information tile
  3. On the left navigation, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the Emergency Evaluation Plan and click the link
  4. Now on the right, complete or update any personal information


Create Backups of College-related Data/Files (Students / Faculty / Staff)

All of your College data should be saved to Microsoft 365 OneDrive.

OneDrive is for official College business only. Please do not upload your iTunes library, personal pictures, etc. to OneDrive. Also, do not save your entire local drive to OneDrive - only College-related data please. It is up to you to ensure you are abiding by College standards when using the service. Check policy guidelines before moving Protected Information to OneDrive. Refer to the College’s Privacy Policy and Procedure on the Security of Protected Information at http://policy.cofc.edu/documents/11.1.pdf.


  • 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 OneDrive whether or not a storm is approaching. OneDrive is a file hosting service offered on Microsoft 365 that allows users to sync files and access them from any web browser or mobile device. The storage limit for OneDrive is 1TB.
  • Plan accordingly for any files that you may need to access and edit during and after a storm.


In OneDrive, click the Upload menu and select the files or folders you want to upload. You can also drag and drop files from your computer into OneDrive.

image of ONeDrive upload menu

Applications Availability in the Event of a Major Power Outage that Impacts our Data Center

Please refer to status.cofc.edu for any application(s) impacted.

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 located in your office at that time. IT will protect the computer equipment and hardware located in the classrooms, labs, and server rooms that are at-risk only. If you’d like to know more about IT’s process for classrooms and labs, please contact the IT Service Desk.

You are responsible for ensuring that your office computer equipment and hardware are protected. IT will be focusing on protecting the computer equipment and hardware located in the at-risk classrooms and labs.

IT suggests the following actions:

  • Take laptops/tablets home with you along with important files and paperwork needed. Remember to review the privacy policy listed above. 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 trash bag. Do you have trash bags on hand? If not, purchase them from Central Stores now.

Other Helpful Tips

  • If you hold physical installation media to non-enterprise software, consider making a copy of it, if you are licensed to do so.  IT does not keep copies of software purchased by individuals or departments.

  • 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 Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) attached.

  • Do NOT use web server space to backup your data.

  • Talk to your students and/or staff about the procedures on how to contact them in case of an emergency. Be sure to store your emergency contacts in a safe place and make sure that you can access it from off campus.

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