Technical Pandemic & Disaster Planning for Administrative Staff

Getting Prepared - Information for Administrative Staff

Below are steps and guidelines that each office can take in advance of an emergency situation that will facilitate communication and coverage during a disaster or pandemic. 

myGate and Two-Factor Authentication (Duo)

myGate Passwords
If your browser saves your website passwords, it will be important for you verify your current myGate password. As myGate passwords expire every 120 days, it's always possible a person may have forgotten their password since their last password reset. If you aren't sure of your myGate password because it's stored in your browser, we recommend going to myGate and resetting/updating your passwords (including your email and network password). 

myGate Two-Factor Authentication / Duo Mobile
There are several options users can choose from when setting up their myGate Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), including using a landline, cell phone, tablet, USB security key, or a hardware token. If you have myGate 2FA only set up with a landline (you have a phone call sent to your office phone only), we recommend adding a new device to your myGate 2FA so you can still access myGate from home.  We also recommend setting up backup passcodes for myGate 2FA in the event you lose your cell phone, have no cellular service at home, or do not with to use your cell phone.

Off-Campus Access with VPN

What is VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It allows you to use a computer at home, or anywhere you can find a high-speed internet connection, to access your computer at work. By using a VPN connection, you create a secure connection to your office computer. Once connected to your work computer, you can access files, log into sensitive systems, connect to network drives, check email and use software programs just as if you were sitting in your office.

Before you can use VPN, you need to fill out the "Off-campus Access/VPN Access Request" form. Once you have VPN access, a program must be installed on your home or portable computer. Instructions for downloading, installing, and using the VPN software is found in the "Off-campus Access/VPN Information & Instructions" article. 

Office Planning Worksheets & Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

During an emergency, mission- critical tasks in your department will need to continue regardless of which staff members may be available. This often requires designating back-up staff capable of completing tasks outside of their normal areas of expertise. Staff members who document their tasks as part of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document make it much easier for others to carry-on in their absence. An SOP is just a document containing all the steps necessary to complete a basic task your office might normally be responsible for on a regular basis. It should be detailed enough that someone with limited expertise in that area could still complete the task. It should include any known issues or troubleshooting tips that may be needed. Lastly, it should include any special website URLs or FTP locations that may be necessary to accomplish the task.

Making sure everyone in the office is aware of critical tasks and who will be backing up others is very important. Contact information for those involved will be very helpful. We have developed an Office Planning Worksheet that will assist departments in developing a solid plan. Completed copies should be accessible to all staff in the office. This worksheet is available online at

Secure Backups

All office computer files should be backed-up regularly to a Network drive share. Simply printing hard copies of important documents or saving them to CD is not enough. Files saved to Network shares provided through MSU’s Networking department are backed-up to secure off-campus locations. Should MSU fall victim to physical damage such as fire, tornado or earthquake, this will be the only secure form of back-up. For more information about back-up procedures, contact the Service Desk 270-809-2346.

MeetMe Teleconferencing

Offices may need to meet at times when staff members are not available to gather on-campus or in the same area. Our VOIP phone system supports MeetMe Teleconferencing phone numbers. Using your office’s MeetMe number, staff can call in to a campus phone number from anywhere on any type of phone and join the conversation. These numbers must be set up in advance.

To set up a MeetMe number for your office, MeetMe Conference Number Service Request.  For instructions on how to use MeetMe Teleconferencing, visit the MeetMe Teleconferencing Instructions article.

Print Article


Article ID: 22962
Thu 1/12/17 4:03 PM
Mon 6/15/20 9:58 AM

Related Articles (3)

This article provides a "quick reference guide" for campus personnel in the event of a pandemic or disaster. Included is support information related to working remotely, as well as emergency contact numbers and websites.