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Date: May 30th, 2013
Submitted By: Michael Kaplun, CoSN   -   Web Site: www.cosn.org/itcrisisprep

Hurricanes and K-12 IT Infrastructure

As the 2013 hurricane season begins this week, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is reminding school districts nationwide of its IT Crisis Preparedness Leadership initiative. Launched in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophic events, the initiative provides school technology leaders with free resources to help school systems plan for and respond to the next crisis, focusing on the role of technology leaders, identifying best practices and devising strategies for shutdown and startup processes.

“Sadly in the past several years, cities and communities nationwide have been wrought with severe devastation by natural disasters, from hurricanes on and up the Gulf and East Coasts, to flooding along the Mississippi, to Western fires, to tornadoes across the Midwest and South, including very recently in Moore, Oklahoma. These unfortunate, still raw realities necessitate that school technology leaders are actively prepared for the next catastrophe to strengthen student safety and maintain business continuity throughout their districts,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Provided at no cost, our resources help to equip K-12 leaders with the knowledge and foresight needed to think ahead of the next crisis and prepare for the unexpected.”

CoSN’s IT Crisis Preparedness Leadership website – www.cosn.org/itcrisisprep – includes information on what a school’s or district’s planning process should include: plans for disaster mitigation and prevention before disaster strikes; communication and continued availability of services during a disaster; and following a disaster, evaluation of the plan’s and ongoing planning’s effectiveness. The website resources, which include a 10 Step Technology Recovery Checklist, emphasize the importance of communication to ensure that all involved understand their designated role in the event of a crisis.

The website also includes planning and recovery tips and features case studies detailing the experiences and best practices of other K-12 technology officers. For CoSN members, there are additional materials available at a cost, including a planning workbook containing worksheets that guide chief technology officers through each step in the planning process.

To learn more, please visit www.cosn.org/itcrisisprep.