Getting Prepared - Information for Administrative Staff
Below are 4 steps each office can take in advance of an emergency situation that will facilitate communication and coverage during a disaster or pandemic.
Off-Campus Access with VPN
What is VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It allows you to use your computer at home, or anywhere you can find a high-speed internet connection, to access your computer at work. By using a VPN connection, you create a secure connection to your office computer.
Once connected, you can access files, log into sensitive systems, connect to network drives, check email and use software programs just as if you were sitting in your office. Before you can use VPN an access form must be filled out and faxed in. Once you have VPN access, a program must be installed on your home or portable computer. The form and further instructions can be found on the VPN Service Request page.
Office Planning Worksheets & Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
During an emergency, mission- critical tasks in your department will need to continue regardless of which staff members may be available. This often requires designating back-up staff capable of completing tasks outside of their normal areas of expertise. Staff members who document their tasks as part of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document make it much easier for others to carry-on in their absence. An SOP is just a document containing all the steps necessary to complete a basic task your office might normally be responsible for on a regular basis. It should be detailed enough that someone with limited expertise in that area could still complete the task. It should include any known issues or troubleshooting tips that may be needed. Lastly, it should include any special website URLs or FTP locations that may be necessary to accomplish the task.
Making sure everyone in the office is aware of critical tasks and who will be backing up others is very important. Contact information for those involved will be very helpful. We have developed an Office Planning Worksheet that will assist departments in developing a solid plan. Completed copies should be accessible to all staff in the office. This worksheet is available online at http://campus.murraystate.edu/prepare/documents/Office_Task_Coverage_Worksheet.pdf.
All office computer files should be backed-up regularly to a Network drive share. Simply printing hard copies of important documents or saving them to CD is not enough. Files saved to Network shares provided through MSU’s Networking department are backed-up to secure off-campus locations. Should MSU fall victim to physical damage such as fire, tornado or earthquake, this will be the only secure form of back-up. For more information about back-up procedures, contact the TSCS Service Desk (270) 809-2346.
Offices may need to meet at times when staff members are not available to gather on-campus or in the same area. Our VOIP phone system supports MeetMe Teleconferencing phone numbers. Using your office’s MeetMe number, staff can call in to a campus phone number from anywhere on any type of phone and join the conversation. These numbers must be set up in advance.