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OH. MY. GOODNESS. What a week that was!
On Monday, August 10, 2020, a derecho tore through the Midwest and Cedar Rapids was smack-dab in the path of this violent storm system. No one escaped its wrath. Seventy-five square miles in our area alone was decimated. Streets were impassable; strewn with fallen power lines, trees, and debris.
No cell service.
No way to communicate with others.
Everything came to a screeching halt. Businesses had no power. Many sustained crippling damage. Once the storm passed and we realized it wasn’t going to be a fast recovery, Iowans got busy. Spotty cell service made calls short and sweet. If you had a tank of gas, it was easier to drive to find what you needed. You had to travel out of the area to find gas – for your car, for your chainsaw, for your generator. Gas lines were long. Patience was at a premium, but everyone waited.
The management team at Future Systems flew into action Tuesday morning and put our Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan to the test. By 11 AM, we had payroll data available via a hot site backup. Thankfully, we were able to have two people keying payrolls locally while two others traveled an hour north where there was power and internet readily available. All of the Tuesday payrolls that absolutely had to process were completed by 5PM, ACH was transmitted and we planned for Wednesday.
Fortunately, we were able to return to our offices with full staff on Wednesday and continue working from our hot site. We were creative in gathering payroll data when clients could not fax or call. Payrolls processed. Clients were contacted. ACH was submitted. Tax payments were made. Several clients used our office as their facilities were compromised. We worked together, we worked long, we were flexible. Reports that were normally e-mailed immediately after processing were all delivered by 10AM Friday morning.
AND PEOPLE WERE PAID! Not one payroll was missed! Future Systems processed 230 payrolls during last week’s unimaginable crisis and over 5,200 folks had money in their accounts – many when they needed it most!
It’s always a test of fortitude when you’re plunged into the unknown and the entire staff at Future Systems performed admirably! Our Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan will be reviewed, revised, and updated to reflect lessons we learned from this. But it worked – thanks to calm, level-headed team members who embody that old adage: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
A huge THANK YOU to our vendors, our clients and our friends – all who were instrumental in our ability to persevere through a once-in-a-lifetime catastrophic storm!
- Linda K. Hass, President