Change Starts From Within

An article in StateTech examines different ways that local city governments are approaching their disaster preparedness and IT systems.

In Beverly Hills, officials built two backup data centers with redundant networks ensuring communications in time of crisis remains operational between emergency management professionals. "Every year, we have made incremental investments into disaster recovery and business continuity," Beverly Hills CIO David Schirmer told StateTech. "The thought is that any of our data center locations could take a catastrophic hit, and we could still carry on."

Orlando has a checklist implemented and carried out by CIO Rosa Akhtarkhavari, which helped the city deal with disasters such as 2017's Hurricane Irma and the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. Akhtarkhavari and her team use a combination of high tech solutions, such as a real-time geographic information system map of outages throughout the city and IP based phone banks, and low tech strategies such as mailing an encrypted hard copy of critical data to Seattle for safe keeping.

In Texas, the city of Denton conducts yearly updates of its continuity plan with municipal leaders and departments. "The process includes performing a risk assessment and business impact analysis to prioritize applications and services, discussing expected service levels, and determining the recovery point objective (or RPO, the amount of data that can be lost) and recovery time objective (or RTO, the length of time applications can be down)," writes Wylie Wong in StateTech.