Doing business during a natural disaster

November 14, 2012
by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO
Compared to many people on Staten Island and in New Jersey, all of us at DOTmed were pretty lucky when Hurricane Sandy arrived Oct. 29. None of us lost our homes or any loved ones.

More than 20 employees were without heat and power. The office lost power for five days and heat for 10 days. The office, and my loft, are both located in so-called Zone A, where much of the flooding happened.

You can see a video below of water rushing past the front our building and into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. This is the same water that closed the tunnel and, nearly 14 days later, still deprives us of our telephone service.

Flooding From Hurricane Sandy in Lower Manhattan

Even our website was down on Halloween because the facility that hosts our site had burned through more than 50,000 gallons of fuel and couldn't get another delivery.

Walking around Lower Manhattan at night after the power was lost actually made me think of "Mad Max." Even our small neighborhood was somewhat frightening. Luckily, there was little crime reported, at least in our area, during this time.

Interestingly enough, we managed to stay in business in the wake of the storm by virtue of e-mail and cell phones. Almost all of our employees worked from home, and we were able to provide customer service remotely.

I credit our rapid return to business to the foresight of our chief technology officer, who long ago put a business continuity plan in place. It helped us to be prepared -- or at least, as prepared as one ever can be for things like this.