Center for Information Technology Services

Simulated Disaster Exercise a Success

On April 4, 2008, the CITS Voice Communication group simulated a building outage of the voice communication system.  This simulation was conducted as a test of a portion of the CITS disaster recovery plan.  As part of this disaster scenario ten telephone lines in the HS/HSL building were disconnected from service.  These lines represented the critical lines that would need to be brought back into service should a disaster of this type occur.  The individuals affected by this outage were notified in advance and were asked to track and report on various aspects of the disaster scenario. 

Of the ten people affected by the outage, all reported that messages left during the outage could still be retrieved either via unified messaging or voicemail when service was restored.  In one case the message went directly to the employee’s cell phone because calls to the campus line had been forwarded. 

A major phase of the scenario was to relocate these ten critical lines to an alternate site on campus to re-establish voice service.  The participants were then asked to go to the alternate site to validate that their telephone lines were in working order.  All ten lines were successfully re-established.  Davidge Hall was the designated alternate site for this scenario; plans are in progress to establish multiple locations on campus to serve as backup sites.

This simulation was a success in defining the process that will be followed in the event that the UMB campus suffers a voice services building outage.  It was a learning experience that will serve as an excellent example for disaster recovery simulations in the future.