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What to do in Case of an HVAC Computer or HVAC Server Emergency

If you experience a serious technical issue, remain calm and follow these steps.

Power outage? Computer virus? Weather emergency? These things happen daily for companies all over the world. While these emergencies may seem like a lot to deal with at first, you have to maintain composure and salvage what you can. In this article, we will walk you through what to do in case your HVAC server or HVAC computer systems go down due to freak circumstances beyond your control. 

To begin, let’s evaluate the types of emergency your company may encounter. 

Natural Disasters

Power Outage – Probably the most common computer emergency, power outages can occur at any time, in just about any area. Unfortunately, if a server or computer gets shut off unexpectedly while in the process of doing an important task, this can often lead to data loss or issues with corrupted files and software. 

Weather Emergency – Similar to power outages, these can happen at just about anytime. Usually, they occur in areas where there are extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, snowstorms, or flooding. 

Digital Security

Malware/Ransomware Attack – As good as your antivirus/encryption software may seem, hackers create new, updated viruses regularly to dodge these programs and can often infect your computer undetected. Depending on the severity, a virus attack has the potential to lock you out or corrupt certain files, and sometimes even the entire server. 

Physical Issues – There are various other things that can cause a server emergency, such as physical damage, overheating, hardware failure, etc.

Now that we’ve reviewed the types of emergencies, let’s look into what steps to take in case you find yourself in one of these situations. 

  1. Diagnose the emergency. It’s generally pretty easy to diagnose a server emergency. If you are working on a client workstation and all of a sudden you are unable to access a file or program that is hosted on the server, this should be the first indicator of a server issue. Find the server immediately and first check to make sure it is powered on and running. If it shut off, then you’ve likely got a power/weather emergency on your hands. However, if the server looks like it’s running fine, then you may be experiencing some form of digital attack on your systems.
  1. Get IT involved. In a perfect world, your company has an IT team in house that you can appoint to deal with these types of issues so you don’t have to worry about them. Unfortunately, not all companies can justify keeping an IT pro on staff at all times. Instead, many opt to outsource their tech needs to a third party IT business. There are also special “Emergency Recovery” IT specialists, which most likely represent the best option if you currently do not have an onsite team and run into a server emergency. The majority of these recovery specialists have lots of experience dealing with high pressure emergencies, so you can likely count on them to remain calm and composed while troubleshooting your issues. 
  1. Understand what you can and cannot recover. Depending on the type of data that got lost or corrupted, sometimes you may not have a shot at recovering it at all. Once you or an IT specialist have diagnosed the issue, you should then be able to tell what is lost for good and what can be recovered. This can be very tough to deal with at times, especially if this lost information will affect your daily operations. To prevent this, you should rely on frequent backups (see next step).
  1. Restore backups. Creating a regular backup schedule for all important data is something every business should do. The best practice here is to create an automatic backup schedule for your data. Backups can run at the beginning or end of each work day. Try to store backups in the cloud, whether through a third party backup service or a cloud hosted server. (Smart Service customers can use Smart Backup to keep their data safe.) If you had any recent backups prior to your emergency, this will go a long way toward recovering your data with minimal disruption to your business.
  1. Develop an emergency plan moving forward. If the emergency resulted in the loss of data that will affect your company and employees, you should let them know. You should also create an emergency plan for the company moving forward. For example, if you lost access to your customer database during a server emergency, you should communicate to both your employees and affected customers that this information got lost and will need re-recorded where possible. Creating an emergency plan will guide your company through these tough times while you work things out. 

If you find yourself in an emergency situation, take things one step at a time and remain calm. This will help you identify the issue and resolve it as best you can.