Surviving the Datchet Floods

My normal route to work

As some of you might know ComXo offices are right in the centre of Datchet an area seriously affected by the great floods of February 2014.

I returned from a break in the sun with my family on February 10th and came into an office dealing with an ever rising Thames the effects of which were becoming all too close to home.

My car park space

As part of our Managed Communications Services around the function of Switchboard ComXo provide over 175 City of London businesses with Business Continuity Support and for this reason we had considered and invested significantly in our own resilience.

Les Wilson wading into the Crisis

With the waters rising it was on with the waders and the invocation plan went into action under the trusty and experienced lead of Les Wilson our BCP crisis Commander.

Time for a morning dip

With our own operation under threat due to our plant room being situated in the car park the emergency services were deployed to keep us operational at all costs.

All hands to the pump

At this point we used all of the tools that we have developed as part of our managed service Emergency Desk solution.

Emergency generators were fired up, text blasts went out to all of our own staff to update them on the situation as it changed, emergency conference call rooms were established, the employee help line was updated as the crisis evolved, our SBA virtual cloud based telephone switch was fired up at our ‘Sun Guard’ emergency site and we began to take calls and provide services from dual sites simultaneously, the intranet became the hub for photos, stories and humourous comment and our marketing department began sending regualr updates to our customers.

A photo of my parents caught on their way to a meeting with me that appeared in the Metro newspaper.

In retrospect it was the ‘unknown unknowns’ that determined the evolution of the crisis.¬† We had not ever thought that the emergency services, the army and the press arriving and camping out in our ‘back yard’ would actually be the main issue as car parking spaces became impossible to find within half a mile of our facility.

But as Les Wilson later said ‘knowing that 24 hours a day a team at ComXo was on hand to take instruction and communicate with the rest of the company meant that accurate and rapid information could be deployed whenever it changed.

On the fourth day the waters subsided and whilst we had been tested we had¬†prevailed with no loss of service or interruption to our customers….an extraordinary result.

Crisis overcome and smiles resume


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