After a storm, with power knocked out ; Getting your business back online

Posted on 22 August 2012 by LeslieM

By Jim Lusk

After a storm passes through, there are a few things you can do to temporarily restore phone service and Internet access, as well as power up your equipment until all the services are back. Yes, it is possible to answer your business phones and have Internet access the day after a major hurricane without power.

PHONE SERVICE

There are three types of phone service: regular hardwired, cable service and VOLP. If you have regular traditional ATT phone lines, they supply their own power and do not require electricity to operate with a portable single or two-line phone. You can forward your numbers to a cell phone if you have call forward remotely, but when the cell tower runs out of fuel your back where you started.

Instructions:

First, unplug line 1 and 2 from your phone system box.
Plug the phone wire into a regular home phone.
If you have multiple lines and want 2 lines working, you can pick up a 2-line phone at most stores, and if both lines are on one cable, plug it into the line 1 and 2 jack on the phone or you can buy or bring two separate old fashioned phones using one for each line.
Buy a 100’ regular phone extension cord for each phone to let you move the phones to your operating location.

INTERNET ACCESS

Depending on your provider, you may not have an Internet connection with a power outage at your location. There are several factors that control cable services. Locations that have cable broadband need transfer stations along the route to amplify the signal and keep it strong, so if power is out at any of those stations, it will take out your service. Comcast has made many improvements since Wilma and they have generators but it still could take some time for an area-wide blackout. If their service is hot, you will need only to supply the modem with power from a generator.

T1 and DSL service will most likely stay up but will require powering the modems as well with a generator or inverter from a vehicle. If you don’t have a generator and have a laptop with a car charger, you can have Internet service by using one of the dial-up services that offer a free trial and hook up to your office or home phone line . I have confirmed that AOL offers one and also Net Zero.

Instructions:

Download software from one of the free providers onto your machine or burn it on a disk and put it in a safe place in case you need it.
Make sure you have a phone cord extension to plug into your machine.
Plug up the phone line to the machine (I used our line 4 after Wilma and had Line 1 and 2 hooked to a Radio Shack 2 line phone so we could answer calls, make calls to find our staff and work online at the same time).

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