Disaster recovery on wheels

With so much of today’s work based on technology, Marshall County is now prepared should they have to take the show on the road in the event of a disaster.

Scott Williams, director of information services with the county, has put together a disaster recovery mobile system which will allow them to have an “office on wheels.”

In the event of disaster, this system can be moved to a secure location to operate the county’s computer servers and phone system.

“It does gives us a feeling of preparedness,” Williams said.

The rack was purchased new but most of the computer equipment inside it is old county equipment that was saved for this system.

“We were able to utilize, to a large extent, resources we already have,” Williams said. “It’s a pretty cheap insurance policy.”

Williams said counties in the state are looking into how to prepare better for disasters, and county leaders meet often to share ideas.

“Disaster recovery is a frequent occurring topic,” Williams said.

If for some reason the courthouse wasn’t accessible, they would have this system take care of websites, servers and even reroute calls that would ordinarily go the courthouse offices.

This system would support entities such as law enforcement and other emergency services personnel in case of a disaster.

“It gives us the ability to relocate our critical pieces of infrastructure,” Williams said. “Those people that provide critical services in the event of a disaster would be our first priority.”

The system is currently in the courthouse but it is expected to be located at another site to be utilized if the courthouse is unaccessible.

Marshall County Board of Supervisors Chair Dave Thompson encourages this type of back-up system for the county.

“If something were to happen at our location in the courthouse we can still be up and running at another location,” Thompson said. “What Scott does in IT is so critical to every single department in the county.”