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1 At Katrinas Edge One Campus Story Brian D. Voss Louisiana State University Contributions from: Sheri Thompson.

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Presentation on theme: "1 At Katrinas Edge One Campus Story Brian D. Voss Louisiana State University Contributions from: Sheri Thompson."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 At Katrinas Edge One Campus Story Brian D. Voss Louisiana State University Contributions from: Sheri Thompson

2 2 Acknowledging those most affected John Lawson, my colleague from Tulane and Jim Burgard, my colleague from University of New Orleans Our IT colleagues at Xavier, Loyola, Dillard, Southern (NO), and Southeastern, in the Louisiana Technical and Community Colleges, and those in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas impacted by Katrina and Rita. Clifford Woodruff at Lamar University, who rode out Rita, has some excellent insights to share; ask him I was on this disasters edge; they were at its center.

3 3 A little level setting Louisiana State University is Louisianas Flagship public university campus located on the Southeast side of the capital city of Baton Rouge, which is about 75 miles northwest of New Orleans –~30,000 students –~4,500 faculty/staff Both major storms missed the Baton Rouge campus –Katrina passed about 80 miles to the East of the campus –Rita passed about 120 miles to the West of the campus No part of LSU (nor Baton Rouge) was flooded nor extensively damaged In short, we were impacted to a lessened degree by the storms; but we were impacted by their aftermaths

4 4 Hurricane 101 A Midwestern transplant learns about hurricanes –A CIO gets an early lecture on coastal erosion, river delta disintegration, and hurricanes –Saffir-Simpson Scale Wind-speed gets the headline, storm surge is the unseen destroyer Pressure = strength (the lower, the stronger) –The effect of deep warm water pools –Hurricanes hate dry air –West side good, East side bad Legendary Stories of Camille, Betsy, Andrew & Ivan Arlene, Cindy & Dennis – 2005 warm-ups –Bookmarking NOAAs National Hurricane Center; LSU Hurricane Center Katrina & Rita … and then Wilma; a busy season

5 5 How LSU Prepares for a Hurricane ~72 hours in advance, we begin to watch –LSU Hurricane Researchers work models, predominantly focusing on storm surge –Leadership begins regular meetings ~48 hours in advance, we begin to make decisions –To close or not to close? –Baton Rouges main concern is evacuee traffic ~24 hours in advance, we do final prep –Campus battens down the hatches –Critical Personnel Only –Computing Center implements Hurricane Status Top off generator diesel tanks Schedule critical personnel Run final back-ups and quiescence of non-critical systems

6 6 Tropical Storm Arlene ~990mB 60mph June 11

7 7 Tropical Storm Cindy ~997mB 60mph July 6

8 8 Cindy – No big deal Relaxed meeting of campus leadership Phoned-in briefing from LSU Hurricane Researchers –No worries – this one will miss us and not be that bad Cindy sweeps wide right and Baton Rouge gets a nice, sunny, warm June day –Florida panhandle and Alabama & Mississippi gulf coasts get their first taste of the 2005 season –New Orleans, just to the west of the eye gets some heavy weather, but nothing it couldnt handle

9 9 Hurricane Dennis ~930mB 125mph July 6

10 10 Dennis – first serious escalation Leadership Meetings Called –Two meetings – at 72 and 48 hours –24-hour meeting is cancelled Leadership gets briefing from LSU Hurricane Researchers –This 500-lb Linebacker … We go on standby but dont pull the trigger on any closings Dennis sweeps wide right and Baton Rouge gets a nice, sunny, breezy hot July day –Panhandle gets punched … again

11 11 Hurricane Katrina ~900mB 165mph August 28

12 12 Hurricane Katrina ~902mB 165mph August 28 Thursday August 25 Sunday August 28 Tuesday August 23 Saturday August 27 Initial Projected Path

13 13 Katrina – Suddenly Bearing Down Saturday August 27 – dawns as the day of the LSU Faculty/Staff Golf Summer Tournament –Chancellor OKeefe had been out of town –Katrina hits Florida but was to turn hard right and pop the Panhandle (again) … she doesnt turn –Cell phones start going off mid-round First leadership meeting 5pm Saturday 8/27; chancellor phones in from the road trying to drive back –LSU had started classes the previous week; dorms full –LSU calls off classes for Monday (day storm to make landfall); closes University for faculty/staff

14 14 Katrina – Suddenly Bearing Down Second leadership meeting Sunday 8am –Decision made to close Tuesday 8/30 as well –Faculty/Staff back on Wednesday 8/31; Classes resume 9/1 All other prep advanced – were ready Katrina becomes a Category-5; sustained winds over 160mph, gusts near 170. New Orleans is dead-on in the projected path –Cat-4 at landfall, but with strong Cat-5 storm surge

15 15 Sunday, August 28 Landfall at the CIOs House Sunday AM – clear, bright, warm –Bottled Water, canned/boxed food, batteries, Armageddon Radio –A dip in the pool anyone? –Inland Hurricane Wind-Force Warning Sunday 2:54PM – first bands hit BTR Sunday 6:40PM – Tropical storm-force winds gust in BTR (>35mph) Sunday 10:15PM – Off to bed Monday 5:57AM – Up – winds howl –Half a pot of coffee and then no power –First LA landfall around this time Pretty Scary Morning – on the good side of the Hurricane –Wind but little rain (<2 inches in 24 hours) Winds begin to subside around noon but are steady Afternoon is windy – still getting gusts >40MPH By 4PM it seems to be over, if still quite windy (25-35MPH)

16 16 Monday, August 29 Weve been hit, but we made it Katrinas Immediate Aftermath –Lower LA Parishes swamped by storm surge; no real word out –Parts of New Orleans flooded, at least one levee over-topped, but city seems to have survived –SE Louisiana devastated by winds/rain –Mississippi seems hardest hit Monday 5pm Meeting at LSUPD Station –We Survived … just a little damage –Data Center Lost power but fallover to back-up worked perfectly –Everything Looks Good to Go for Tuesday clean-up, Wednesday start-up, and Thursday-as-usual –Mood light and jovial –Power restored to campus ~6:15pm –LSUs HPC resources running full-bore, analyzing storm data

17 17 Tuesday 8/30 The Bowl is filling up Reports confirming catastrophic levee failure in New Orleans occur at 1:30AM CDT By mid-afternoon, >80% of New Orleans is under water Evacuees/Refugees LSU contacted about expanding routine special evacuee facilities into a broader purpose –Medical Triage (Pete Maravich Assembly Center) –Special Needs Facility (Field House) –First IT needs – Phones, phones and more phones –The first Five Oclock Meeting

18 18 Wednesday 8/31 Somebodys surely going to take charge today PMAC & FH Ramp Up –Flow of wounded, sick, & displaced increases dramatically Agencies, Doctors, Volunteers show up –More Phones, data connections, computers –Coordination Lacking – LSU steps up Two-a-days commence Choppers! – Its like M*A*S*H Sirens wail – streets not disturbingly deserted are disturbingly filled with uniformed men and medical teams, and sick, wounded, and displaced LSU postpones return of students until 9/6 The Superdome UNO staffer shows up at Frey CC – has their webspace back-up on his laptop

19 19 Thursday 9/1 Were not following the book – were writing it Mayor Nagins passionate plea More agencies show up at LSU –Flow of patients and refugees increases –Campus security issues –Coordinating volunteers becomes a challenge LSU establishes Command Center –Coordinates information for students, and evacuees, as well as directing resources to where theyre needed No one shows up to take charge – LSU assumes control in the vacuum First vendor donations and help arrive LSUs first home football game (slated for Saturday) is postponed to later in the season

20 20 Friday 9/2 Will we be a university this Fall … or not? Superdome gets relief – finally! Tensions mount – tempers flare Flow shows no signs of dropping PMAC has handled thousands Leadership meetings –Public Safety reports –Facilities reports –Student-life reports –Special Facilities Reports –Communications & University Relations Reports IT applications – needed at 8am, completed by noon, rendered unnecessary by 5pm More equipment! KTR Student Enrollment commences

21 21 Saturday 9/3 & Sunday 9/4 Maybe you could put us up in a dorm room? More IT help arrives –Microsoft and IBM send in disaster support teams –National Guard Convoy delivers 18-boxes of IT support donations to LSU Information systems start to jell at PMAC/FH –FERPA/HIPAA LSU re-confirms that it will re-start classes – bumpy and rocky as it may be – on Tuesday following the Labor Day Holiday Donations, donations, donations A Plan for Displaced Students

22 22 Labor Day 9/5 No sir! The Football stadium didnt pass the fire marshals inspection! Students start to return to campus AgCenter campus deals with furry/feathery/scaly refugees Moves/Adds/Changes First signs of a let-up Volunteers continue to staff the Hotline Critical IT personnel ordered to take 12 hours off – NO EXCEPTIONS! Tomorrow, we have our old jobs to do as well. LSU strives to retain its status as a university campus, in light of its success as a disaster response facility

23 23 Tuesday 9/6 I was never so glad to see a backpack in my life! Classes resume! KTR Enrollment & Registration intensifies UNO CIO asks for and receives sanctuary More calls inquiring about assistance Moves/Adds/Changes – okay, now youve gotta be kidding me! Chancellor schedules Town Meeting –Can we video stream that? Deans Monthly Meeting

24 24 9/7 through 9/20 Were getting back to normal, whatever the hell that is. PMAC & Field House eventually wind-down; Field House later temporarily re-opens for Hurricane Rita response –Over 6,000 patients treated at the facility during the first 7 days LSU completes special Katrina Enrollment; ~3000 new undergrads and >300 grads enroll from the impacted schools as visiting students All non-students (family members, first-responders, etc.) finally moved from dormitories; 100% capacity achieved with visiting students Temporary IT equipment dismantled; we lost some laptops, especially the three that went out on a Coast Guard S&R helicopter 5 Oclock Hurricane Response meetings ceased 9/12

25 25 Hurricane Rita ~892mB 170mph September 23

26 26 Rita – Déjà Vu All Over Again? All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia. Id rather not be in Philadelphia –My agita had little to do with the I2/NLR merger Rita was supposed to bear South, but sliced to the North –Campus Leadership meets again –Campus closes that Friday at 2:30 as rains and wind begin; closes through Monday While Rita was perhaps even more powerful than Katrina, and Louisiana suffers yet again (along with NE Texas), the aftermath for LSU and Baton Rouge was not as significant We saw again what happens when a major American city (Houston this time) is threatened with destruction

27 27 Katrinas Impacts on Louisiana Higher Ed Basically, those in Katrinas path were put temporarily out of business UNO/LSUHSC –portions of campus under water –classes resumed 10/10 at Jefferson Facility –Planning on resuming operations in NO Spring Semester Tulane, Xavier, Dillard & Loyola –Campuses all impacted to one degree or another –Established temporary admin HQs elsewhere –Planning on resuming operations in NO Spring Semester

28 28 Katrinas Impacts on Louisiana Higher Ed Louisiana Technical Colleges & Community Colleges –Lost several NO-based campuses; serving students at other campuses that were less (or not at all) impacted Louisiana State University –Became perhaps the most critical facility in support of disaster relief/response in the State of Louisiana –Despite this, continued to function as the States Flagship Research University; added over 3,000 temporary/displaced students; serve over 9,000 students from areas impacted by Katrina & Rita

29 29 Getting IT up and running Impacted institutions turned to technology –Websites first thing to go up to share info –Establishing communications –Use of online education (DE) Vendors stepping up to help –Donations, loans, discounts, financing Re-establishing operations in temporary locations Rebuilding campus infrastructure will be a huge challenge that is as-yet unclear

30 30 LSUs IT support for UNO Providing space for their staff (~30 people) –Workstations, access, phones, facilities, supplies Providing rack space in machine room for their recovery servers Assisted in restoration of their key web and services Providing commodity internet and internet2 connectivity & bandwidth Assisting with general sys-admin and data recovery operations Linked them up with our student outsource provider (Outblaze) for quick restoration of service to that community Providing support via LSU System Office for their administration

31 31 Help from the HE community EDUCAUSE and other sites help with information and match-making Other HE IT groups (Internet2, ACUTA, etc.) also seeking ways to help out Regional groups (like SURA) CAVEATS: –Dealing with more than a loss of IT –Dont kill them with kindness –Wait until asked –Recognize the logistics are nightmarish –Be interested in 2006

32 32 April 2006 Update University of New Orleans –Re-Opened for Spring 06 (enrollment ~70%) LSU Health Science Center –Temporarily moved educational & most research programs to Baton Rouge –Main facilities still being renovated/recovered –Dentistry moved to Baton Rouge – Expect to return to New Orleans Fall 06 Tulane –Re-Opened for Spring 06 (enrollment ~77%) Dillard –Extensive damage to be addressed –Re-Opened temporarily in Hilton Riverside Hotel Xavier –Opened for Spring 06 (enrollment ~75%) Loyola –Re-Opened Spring 06 (enrollment ~90%)

33 33 Post-Katrina Disaster Recovery Thinking Traditional Disaster Recovery –What if my data center is lost Broader Disaster Recovery –What if my campus is lost –What if the city where my campus is located is lost Survivor Disaster Recovery –What if Im fine … but everyone around me is not

34 34 Traditional Disaster Recovery Youre down, everything else is fine Do you have a workable DR plan? Do you know where on campus youll go? Did you take necessary back-ups and do you have them ready to re-produce production files? What vendors will you need to tap – and for what? How will you quickly re-establish network connectivity? Phone service? Web presence? ? Mission critical information systems? Lessons: –Its the data, stupid. Hardware can be replaced; data can not be –If you lose just your data center, the need for rapid response will be acute and immediate; your institution can not operate without IT

35 35 Broader Disaster Recovery You and everyone around you is down Are your off-sites conveniently (and perhaps tragically) close? Do you have arrangements to get key services restored at a distance –Web, , Financial/HR, Student Information, CMS Hot-sites may be too much $$$$ – but can you find suitable raised floor/HVAC/power to re-build Can you support your administration in exile? –Internet access, computers, cell phones, , IM Is your life-boat plan portable over larger distances? Can you grab your key people? Can you care for them? Lessons: –People are your most key resource – but expect them to be burdened with other priorities –Knowing what youll need to do and having it organized is more important than knowing all about how youll do it when you get there (wherever there might be)

36 36 Data Center Lifeboat Situation: What if we had very short notice (4-8 hours) notice of the need to abandon our data center/campus and set-up elsewhere (>50miles away) Goal #1: Re-establish some critical subset of services Goal #2: Support the re-establishment of some subset of university administration

37 37 Lifeboat Key things to recover: –Payroll/Financial Data –Web presence Splash/priority information screens As much content as possible – service for faculty/staff/students –Portal interface –Student Information Systems –HR, Procurement Systems –CMS –What else? Budgets ($25K, $50K, $100K) Key things to address –Off-site storage of critical back-ups –Ability to grab and go key data and hardware –List of key hardware needed later from vendors –Disaster Supplies Crate What would we put into an 8x12 truck for rapid evac? –Equipment for a mobile or relocated university command post Laptops, radios, phones, etc. –Identify Key IT personnel Who does what w/back-up Scoop em up –Where might we go?

38 38 Survivor Disaster Recovery Youre the last ones standing Dealing with unimaginable demands –Start imagining it Do you have a stock of equipment to set up a large support operation in short-order? –Networking gear, computers, cables, supplies, telephone service Value of a flexible and capable staff –Theyll see things no one should have to see Consider how youll do all this on top of your normal jobs, as campus life resumes and student enrollment increases How ready is your campus administration to take on the role of disaster response center? –Facilities, public safety/police, communications, academic affairs –Is the CEO (Chancellor, or President) prepared?

39 39 Lessons Learned at LSU Have a good stock of networking equipment, and mobile and desktop computing in the storeroom –Plan to raid campus labs & empty desks if need be Have strong relationships with key vendors Great to have terrific, dedicated, service-oriented people Architectures count – how divisible are the components? Whats removable as a component, and whats too-tightly integrated? Be prepared to be flexible; adapt, improvise, overcome –Dont be thin-skinned

40 40 Lessons Learned continued Good to sit at the big table –But know when to speak, and when not to – if youve watched Survivor you know what I mean Keep your friends close – and dont have enemies Everything weve been saying about the strategic value of IT is valid; IT enables everything in the 21 st Century –But even now – does HE administration get it? Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning is not a luxury

41 41 Hurricane Season 2006 Starts in less than 60 days Were working on a basic, nimble IT DR/BCP document – will be done by 5/31 –Addressing all three forms of disaster –Requesting funds ~$500K Campus is constructing a permanent EOC –Rather than relying upon hastily assembled one –Spending ~$150K to do it Chancellor put out a call for DR/BCP plans across key campus units

42 42 Thoughts 7 months after In a disaster, do the rules – and the plan – go out the window? Isnt the very nature of disaster its unpredictability? Can we ever plan for every possible event and circumstance? Will we have time to refer to a detailed disaster plan document?

43 43 What then should we do? Focus on the process of planning and not on the plan itself (so sayeth Capt. Joe Castillo USCG) Examine how we will position ourselves and our assets to be flexible in responding to a disaster Focus on knowing what will need to be done in the first stages, what well need to do those things, and who will do them Plan to be flexible. Plan to improvise, adapt, and overcome Drill on these things

44 44 Again, Whats Important? Hardware and facilities can be replaced in the periods following a disaster Data is the primary focus of what you need to be prepared to restore and the basis of continuity People are your most key asset

45 45 We had a failure of imagination. Lessons from NASA; Apollo 1 and Columbia Shuttle disasters We need to imagine the questions first so that we can find the answers We need to – as a community – seek answers together –How can we leverage national cyberinfrastructure? –Individual arrangements versus broader approaches How seriously do you, as CIO, take the strategic nature of IT? How about your administration? –IT truly is an enabler of everything we do now –Are our people ready to be First Responders?

46 46 Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. -George Santayana CIOs can no longer say they cant imagine what could happen – because it just did. –Or an earthquake, or a tsunami, or a terrorist attack, or an accident, or a pandemic Next time, you may not be watching it on CNN – you may be living it Now is the time to think, plan, and take action – later it will be too late

47 47 At Katrinas Edge Brian D. Voss Chief Information Officer Louisiana State University Special Thanks: Charlie, Cindy, Ric, Andy, John, Sheri, Robin, Brian, Byron, Sean, Scott, Susan, Sara, Ralph, and the entire staff of ITS, OCIO, and LOUIS. Geaux


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