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Planning for Disaster Helps Pulaski County Title Get Going After Tornado

3 min read

Within about 72 hours of its offices taking a direct hit from Friday’s tornado, Pulaski County Title Co. was back in business. 

The company’s server, which had been stored in a secure room near an elevator shaft in the Pulaski County Title building at 8114 Cantrell Road, sustained no damage. None of the computers were ruined by the storm. No physical files were lost, either. 

“It was kind of a miracle,” Billy Roehrenbeck, owner of Pulaski County Title, told Arkansas Business. “Especially when you look at the building and the devastation [the tornado] caused.”

As dozens of businesses remain closed in Little Rock after last week’s devastating EF3 tornado, Roehrenbeck’s company resumed work this week, closing several real estate deals Monday as employees worked from home or a new office space the firm had secured at 11300 Cantrell Road. Pulaski County Title moved its server to the downtown Little Rock offices of Mainstream Technologies Inc., which provides hosting, IT solutions and cybersecurity to businesses.

“Our primary focus was, ‘Is everybody ok?’” Roehrenbeck said of the tornado’s immediate aftermath. “Our secondary focus was whether the operational infrastructure for the title company was intact.”

Roehrenbeck had prepared for disaster. When he first set up Pulaski County Title’s offices, he planned for the worst-case scenario — the total loss of their building from something like a tornado. 

“Because of the way that our business runs, we have to be prepared for disaster recovery,” he said. “We have so much non-public information, we have to make sure it is secured.” 

Photos of Pulaski County Title’s offices show extreme damage. Portions of the ceiling collapsed. Windows were blown out. Glass and other debris covered floors. Employees in the building took cover in a bathroom behind the elevator shaft. No one was injured. 

Mainstream Technologies worked with Pulaski County Title to come up with a disaster preparedness plan, including secure places to store a server, backing up data and coming up with a blueprint for the company to be back online as quickly as possible. 

“[Mainstream Technologies] worked through the night to get us back to where we could function,” Roehrenbeck said. “They understood the business contiguity and the importance of that.” 

John Burgess, co-founder of Mainstream Technologies, said many companies still don’t have a roadmap to make sure IT infrastructure and data is safe and secure.

“This went exactly the way we had planned it,” Burgess said of Pulaski County Title’s ability to quickly pivot and resume business almost immediately. “But that is the key thing, we had planned for it.” 

“They, with our assistance, had planned for this type of situation – disaster planning, disaster recovery planning,” Burgess said. “One of the scenarios is the building gets destroyed, and we had a series of plans in place to execute that playbook.” 

Roehrenbeck also said he learned valuable lessons from the pandemic, when businesses had to quickly close and adjust to remote work. “COVID taught us a lot with how to react in a more virtual environment,” Roehrenbeck said. “It gave us a test drive and experience and is what truly allowed us to pivot.”

There are still no damage estimates for the Pulaski County Title building, Roehrenbeck said, adding he believes the building remains structurally sound.

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