Prepare for Changes
When temperatures vary as much as 50º within a 24 hour period in some cities, new high winter record temps appear across the map and wind gusts top 60 miles per hour for extended periods in Walworth, NY, perhaps it is time to prepare for some changes.
We are “on call” 24/7 being a media outlet and we cannot afford to be without internet and power. I sometimes begin my day before 5 a.m. and often make the last inputs and searches well after midnight.
We work and construct the Times in our home and the pages are electronically sent to computers to another county, where plates are burned and put on presses an hour or less after they arrive. Within hours our drivers load their vehicles and the Times finds its way to newsstands and to our mailing center (my garage). The garage has to be heated all the time to keep the mailing machines and staff warm enough to get the job done. We also have preparations just in case the basement sump pump goes out.
Bottom line, no power, missed deadlines and angry readers. To prevent this from ever happening, we have a whole-house natural gas generator that kicks on when land line power is interrupted. Since we moved to our new home last May, the generator has kicked on for various lengths of times on four occasions – the last being early Thursday morning.
The same goes for internet service. Not only do we have Time Warner Roadrunner internet service, but found it necessary to install a back-up satellite internet service just in case. Like the electrical interruptions, the satellite internet kicked in once so far allowing us constant contact with the outside world.
We keep enough food and bottled water in the house to last us well over a month and also have a supply of batteries, flashlights, radios and cell phones to back-up our phone land lines.
No, I am not one of those survivalist nuts, I am a realist. With the obvious changes in weather patterns it makes sense to have all bases covered, especially in the media world. I chortle when weather forecasters predict a really bad wind, water, snow storm coming and the peasants flock to the store and empty shelves of bread, milk and batteries. I could never figure the bread and milk thing for a storm that would probably only last a day or two, but panic is panic.
We also have off-premises storage of major information in case of a disaster here, and are in the process of developing a “cloud” strategy for just about everything, including back-up computers.
No, I can’t predict every possible situation, but we are miles ahead of most weekly newspapers.
The last part of the puzzle is cross-training our itty-bitty staff just in case one of us goes down for the count.
A whole house generator is very reassuring. I suggest that homeowners at least consider a small back-up generator in case of power outages and take minimal steps to prepare for changes. Allowing for heat and refrigerator power is a must as weather conditions change.
Oh, and make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, not that single sheet stuff, go the extra mile and get the super soft, double ply. If you have to sit out an emergency, do it in comfort and style.