With power outages across the city, primarily in the downtown core, and with flood waters converging on the Calgary Municipal Building, it was up to information technology staff to keep the City online – primarily from Calgary’s Emergency Operations Centre, but also from staff’s own homes.

CREBNow recently sat down with the City’s Heather Reed-Fenske, manager IT and Doug Hodgson, director IT and here’s some of what they had to say regarding the June 2013 flood.

Heather Reed-Fenske, manager IT

“For this municipal complex, because we lost power and we weren’t able to supply the generator, that was a big concern because we did have a single point of failure for our corporate network, so we did lose access to our network for the majority of our sites on the Friday.”

“Our only live equipment that was left in [the Municipal Building] was sort of our main phone switch which provides support to thousands of city phones as well as our contact centres – I’ll give you an example, 311, which is key in their response. So those were definitely our priorities from day one in terms of restoring those services. We were able to restore about 90 per cent of those over that first 48 hours.”

Doug Hodgson, director IT

“We lost our main phone branch exchange and City Hall and some other equipment that were spares or staged to be going into service, so that was the majority of the [flood] impact for us. … Some communications systems were also effected by that, so most of the summer last year was spent … restoring some of those critical things back to service.”

“For the rest of the year its back to business as usual, we are continuing to invest and make efforts in making our business systems more and more resilient to any future events.”