Phone System Disaster Preparedness
Be prepared so you can get back up and running quickly after a phone system failure caused by a weather-related emergency, power outage, equipment malfunction, or loss of dial tone services.
1. Create a list of contacts for your voice and data services.
Post the list in the office and keep a copy at home or on your smartphone. Have the phone numbers for your telecommunications equipment provider (BCS: 508-797-6612), computer and network equipment service company, dial tone provider (e.g., Verizon, One Communications, Broadview), and Internet bandwidth provider (e.g., Verizon, One Communications, Charter). List your account number for each provider as well. When calling for service, make sure to give a phone number at which you can be reached (not your office number if the office system or lines are down, or a cell phone that is in a spotty service area).
2. Create a contingency plan to handle calls if the phone system is down or if there is no dial tone.
Your dial tone provider can forward your main number to a cell phone or alternate number. If the phone lines or circuits are down, they can redirect calls to an alternate number in the phone system.
3. Wire power failure telephone outlets.
If an extended commercial power outage shuts down your phone system, these outlets will allow you to plug in single-line phones so you can continue to receive and make calls. Label the outlets as power failure jacks and make sure to keep the single-line phones on site.
4. Keep a copy of greeting recording instructions at home.
If a snowstorm or other emergency causes your office to open late or close, you'll be able to make callers aware by recording a new automated attendant greeting remotely.
5. Try to triage the problem.
If the phone system is down and other electrical equipment does not work, check the circuit breakers. If the phones work but there is no dial tone on the phones and the fax, call your dial tone provider. If there is dial tone and the phones work, but voice mail is down, call your phone system equipment vendor.