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As we approach mid-August, hurricane season is coming into full swing. Lawyers in the Fifth Circuit need to get ready for possible storms.
Here are some basic tenets of hurricane safety to help attorneys prepare for a swirling curveball of precipitation and humidity named Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, or Humberto:
1. Save Often and Have Backups.
When you receive warning of a hurricane, the last thing you want to be doing is waiting in your office for your entire system to backup onto your external drive.
Consider having a system that automatically backs up your files to an external drive every four to six hours, or use a cloud storage backup like Bitcasa or Dropbox to auto-backup your data.
Having an automated backup system will allow you to easily evacuate and work from home, assuming you don't already.
2. Check for Court Closures.
Whenever a hurricane poses a threat to people and businesses, courts are no exception to closures in order for employees to safely evacuate if need be.
Even the Fifth Circuit has closed when the Gulf Coast is hit with nasty weather -- as happened recently with Hurricane Isaac -- so make sure to check with the court's website, or call the court clerk before you head out.
Although notice of a closure will likely be sent to you by the court clerk if you're scheduled in their department, you don't want to be running to catch an 8 a.m. court date in the driving rain at a courthouse that isn't open.
3. Get Safe and Settled.
Once you've got your work data and court appearances squared away, it's time to batten down the hatches, literally and figuratively.
After you've covered your windows with cardboard or wood and removed any potential projectiles from your porch and back yard, take a gander at your insurance policy and make a mental note for filing your future insurance claim for hurricane damage.
Finally, whip up a classic New Orleans cocktail, the hurricane, by mixing together the following over ice:
Garnish that sucker with an orange slice and get ready to settle in for whatever Mother Nature has to throw at you.