Today’s digital world mainly relies on technology in making the world go round. Any disruptions like blackouts or natural calamities are sure to set everyone in a crazed frenzy as they try to compose and figure out how to function/exist without their handy tech gadgets. But as you already know by now, climate change is already our reality and it has intensified the majority of the natural phenomenon we experience today. Warm weather is unbearably hot and the cold winter months extra cooler. Typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. have likewise become more deadly. But what happens to us when these calamities strike and not only is our home destroyed but our precious properties too?
It is quite challenging to recover from hurricanes, for instance, as flooding is a big threat to the integrity of most of your tech devices. Computers are sensitive and data can be easily wiped out if not secured out of harm’s way. And considering the amount of data we use that are now in digital format, it is a big problem (and headache) once we lose access to the files stored in these devices in the aftermath of a major storm.
Kelly Klodzinski, owner of flooring store Floor Care & Interior in the East Texas town of Lumberton, did not have flood insurance when Hurricane Harvey destroyed his business.
“It had never flooded here in over 100 years,” Klodzinski said. “It would have been the equivalent of buying volcano insurance.”
But Harvey dropped an unprecedented 52 inches of rain on the area in about six days, resulting in a total loss for a business founded in 1985. All of the store’s merchandise ended up under six feet of water.
About the only recoverable part of the business, it turned out, were Klodzinski’s computers, which sat underwater for a full week. He had killed the power to the store before leaving it. After the storm, a high school friend who works for Minnesota-based Kroll Ontrack offered to help retrieve the computers and get them analyzed.
Most of the time, resident are caught off guard and are unable to prepare extensively for such scenarios because it rarely happened to their area. But we are gradually learning right now that nothing is impossible in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath. Floods can happen in unlikely places and storms can intensify to twice or thrice its usual power in the past. We are learning the hard way the effects of our abuse and neglect of the environment and it is a double blow for us because we use so much technology in our lives right now that is highly vulnerable to the elements.
Now a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 175 mph, Irma is expected to make landfall in Florida late this weekend after ramming the Leeward Islands in the West Indies, according to the National Weather Service. The Caribbean and all of the Sunshine State are now under a state of emergency.
Forecasters fear the worst, saying total losses from Irma could exceed those suffered at the hands of Katrina.
Only time will tell if data centers in Florida come out as unscathed as those in Texas. While more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area lost power as a result of Hurricane Harvey, torrential downpours and flooding, data centers in the area did not get flooded and were largely spared major utility power interruptions.
The US is badly hit by these calamities and it’s not over yet. All the figures aren’t still in and the damage keeps on adding up. Human lives are lost and properties are destroyed too but many precious and irreplaceable data are submerged in floodwater never to see the light of day again. Although there are data recovery services that can do magic and retrieve your data if the device is still salvageable, it is quite rare. If you weren’t able to prepare and save more copies of your files, there is a big possibility that you won’t see them again even after all the cleanup is said and done. So, let this be a lesson to everyone to secure your data so you no longer have to deal with problems like data recovery that can be quite costly too.