As Preparedness Month comes to an end, I had a weather-related incident that brought home the importance of being able to access information in more than one place.
Yesterday, the power in my house went out. This was the fourth extended outage in the last six weeks or so, which is unusual. During thunderstorms, we typically lose power for a few minutes a few times each summer. But the recent ones have lasted for hours.
I did some work around the house that didn’t require electricity, hoping the power would come back soon. I needed to make phone calls and return emails, though, so I used my cell phone until the battery ran down. Then I sat in the car to work and charge the phone.
I could see my documents on dropbox, although they’re really hard to read on the phone because they’re so small. I didn’t have access to my contact management system, which includes my calendar, contacts database and to-do list.
As a backup, I also keep a paper calendar, where I write appointments, the location and the phone number. I also write associated phone numbers of anyone I need to contact while I’m at that client (mover, hauler, building supervisor, etc.). While I don’t have all the details, I have enough to get by.
And two and a half hours after the power went out, it came back. For a half hour. An hour later it came back and stayed on. Until the next thunderstorm.
What’s your Plan B?