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Electronic Fax Services

If your nonprofit uses fax messages, you might want to consider an electronic fax service like MyFax. In a time of disaster, you might be away from the office or no longer be able to use a landline fax line; with an electronic fax service, you’d still be able to send and receive messages. These services are discussed at length in the TechSoup article Electronic Fax Alternatives for Your Nonprofit.





Electronic Fax Alternatives for Your Nonprofit
http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/techplan/page10992.cfm

MyFax Offering at TechSoup Stock



http://www.techsoup.org/stock/Category.asp?catalog_name=TechSoupMain&category_name=Protus


Your Backup Web Presence




Delicious: tsdp+website

http://delicious.com/tag/tsdp+website

In many ways, your nonprofit’s website is the most visible part of your organization’s operations. It’s natural that in a time of disaster, people who care about your nonprofit will turn to your website for updates. Unfortunately, maintaining your website during a disaster — let alone adding needed updates — may be too difficult, especially if your computers are damaged. That’s why it’s a good idea to construct a backup web presence that you can use during a crisis to keep your constituents informed.

It’s good to think about how you’re using technology to reach out to your community long before a disaster strikes, for many reasons. We don’t have time to go the nuances of your nonprofit’s social media strategy here, but here are some resources to get you started:





Eight Secrets of Effective Online Networking

http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/page8075.cfm

New Media, Old Media, and Your Nonprofit



http://blog.techsoup.org/node/690
Expand Your Reach with Flickr and Twitter (Webinar, requires name and email address)

https://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=04jpzxrp
We Are Media

http://www.wearemedia.org/

Depending on the needs of your organization, it might be a good idea to set up an emergency website that can keep followers aware of developments surrounding a disaster more quickly than your regular site. For example, you can send updates to your Twitter feed from mobile phones and other devices, so you can communicate with friends of your organization through Twitter even without a computer or regular internet access.


We’ve created an example of a simple ad-hoc website that displays an organization’s Twitter feed automatically using Javascript. During an emergency, you could add essential information to the top portion of the page, including contact info and any changes to your organization’s programs and services. Since the page displays your Twitter updates automatically, it’s easy for your volunteers, donors, and constituents to stay in the know.
If the main way you communicate with your constituents online is through a blog or Facebook page, you can use the RSS feeds from those sources to display updates on your emergency homepage as well.

What’s most important is that your emergency website display up-to-date news and contact information, especially if your organization provides support to people impacted by disasters.





Sample Emergency Website

http://backup.idiolexicon.com/

How to Add a Twitter Feed to Your Website



http://remysharp.com/2007/05/18/add-twitter-to-your-blog-step-by-step/
Displaying RSS Feeds on Your Website

http://www.techsoup.org/rss/rsswebsite.cfm



Chapter 2: Documentation and Your Master Key




Delicious: tsdp+documentation
http://delicious.com/tag/tsdp+documentation

Documentation is your first and most important defense against a disaster, natural or otherwise. No matter the state of your technical infrastructure, you should have the following information available in a form that’s easily accessible for anyone who might be tasked with repairing, restoring, or changing your organization’s tech infrastructure.




  • Warranties and receipts for computers and peripherals

  • Information about where, how, and how frequently your data is stored and backed up

  • Instructions for how to restore your data

  • Passwords for encrypted data

  • Contact information for any employees, volunteers, or consultants who maintain your organization’s tech infrastructure
  • A phone tree that includes home and cell phone numbers for all staff. The phone tree should follow your normal chain of management, with each manager contacting her direct reports in case of an emergency.


  • Login information for administrative accounts on all computers

  • Login information for web hosting and backup services

  • Contact information for web hosting and backup services (if there’s an account representative devoted to your account, include his or her name and contact info)

  • Software registration information, including keys

Although you may have pieces of this information scattered in various binders and email accounts, you’ll thank yourself later for compiling it safely and accessibly in one place. Losing your web hosting information or communication with the one volunteer who knows all of your passwords can exacerbate a disaster.






Mac users:
See Apple’s instructions for exporting your Keychain data.



Exporting your Keychain data (Mac)
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2980#key






Backups and Documentation

Although 86 percent of the organizations we surveyed back up their records on a regular basis, only 69 percent have clear documentation of how and where critical data is stored. Remember that regular backups and clean, clear documentation go hand in hand.





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