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Marshall Fire Lessons


Photo source: Newsweek

December 30, 2021 was a day many of us in the Denver area won’t forget. Within hours, a grass fire east of Boulder, CO grew into a conflagration that took out over 1,000 homes and businesses between mid-morning and early evening. The winds driving the fire often topped 100 mph, spreading the fire so fast that emergency-management officials focused on Life Safety - getting people out of the path of destruction – before actually putting out the flames. What lessons should businesses take from this? Be prepared, of course - but how? With what? We and many of our friends have since assembled a ‘go-bag’ with essentials. Is there an equivalent for businesses? We think so. IT and data: Businesses run on information so:

  • Backing up to the cloud is both common and essential; at least daily

  • A laptop or two capable of reaching the backed-up data, and capable of running your ERP software with its data

  • An air-gap backup drive (one that is connected to the system only for backups, to avoid infection from viruses, malware, and ransomware), for immediate access to data if needed.

  • Your ERP may be fully cloud-accessible, but if not, keep backups of: - List of key vendors - List of key customers - Any essential documents that are hard-copy only - A list of employees with contact information, for check-ins and finding out their personal needs, and organizing any work shifts as you plan a return – or a cloud-based emergency call-in/text system.

Besides data: consider:

  • Chargers for phones and laptops

  • "Power bricks" for recharging, ($30-$125 depending on capacity) and multiple adapters

  • First-aid kit (size-appropriate for your group) including painkillers

  • Contact solution, antiseptic wipes, bottled water, snacks/energy bars

Personally: don’t forget:

  • Prescription drugs taken daily

  • Digital copies of emergency contacts, legal docs, and old photos

  • Pet supplies (food/meds/carriers)

  • Duplicates of each child’s favorite toy when stressed

Thankfully, none of our clients lost their buildings to this fire or in last summer’s fires in California, but let’s stay safe and prepared!

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