Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Storm Dennis and the importance of business continuity

When your mobile goes off at 4.01am on a Sunday morning, you know something’s wrong. 

With Storm Dennis, battering Britain ferociously, it was probably inevitable that we were going to encounter a few problems with lines down etc.   

However, when the River Taff burst its banks, Valley Vets Hospital in Gwaelod-y-garth, Wales bore the brunt and suffered massive damage.   

Clinical Director, Rob Harry, acted quickly and contacted Merlin to divert all calls to the practice mobile whilst he and the whole of the management team sorted out the logistics of rescuing and moving all the staff and patients to alternative premises. 

Being a 24/7 hospital, it was vital that the phones were set up to divert as quickly as possible, to receive any immediate emergency calls from pet owners. 

The soul-destroying photo’s posted on Facebook, showed the absolute devastation caused by the storm, but luckily all patients and staff were evacuated by the amazing fire brigade.  
All calls were later diverted to their Cardiff surgery where they hope to continue emergency Vet care for their clients.  

This just goes to show, that having a robust business disaster recovery plan is vital, especially when you provide such an essential service.   

Typically, on our hosted phone system, Merlin can create a “fail over” to an alternative mobile and/or landline number so that if your phone service is disrupted, (for whatever reason) you know your calls will still get through.  If diverting to a mobile, don’t forget calls may go to voicemail if out of signal, or may have call waiting activated or the volume could be turned down.  The better option is to divert calls to an alternative landline.  Calls can be diverted to several different phones if necessary.   

With the occurrence of this type of storm being experienced on a more regular basis (recently Storm Jorge) – adding a failover number to your system really seems like a sensible plan. 

Our hearts go out to all the staff at Valley Vet Hospital and we really hope they get back into service at Gwaelod-y-garth as soon as possible.   

Merlin Telecommunications Ltd 

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