In the Trenches: When the Power Goes Out
One of the nice things about running my business is that I can do it from anywhere. So it was last week that I found myself in the middle of Indiana with my in-laws. And being in cold and snowy Indiana got me thinking about what I could do if the power went out.
Why was I thinking about this? Well, the day after Christmas, Indianapolis was right in the path of a big snowstorm. In fact, it caused the National Weather Service to issue its first blizzard warning for Indiana in five years. The local news stations couldn't talk about anything else. As I sat there receiving the same mind-numbing news over and over, a new piece of information popped up.
"There's a chance of widespread power outages as the storm passes through."
Uh oh. We had already had a rough week dealing with a lot of stranded travelers and there I was thinking I might find myself unplugged. Yikes.
In the end, the power stayed on, but that doesn't mean I'll always get lucky like that. I can hardly justify spending money on a generator for situations like this, and even if I could, it wouldn't travel with me. So what could I do?
First I bought a portable Wi-Fi hotspot on a different carrier from my cell phone provider. That means that if my home internet connection goes out, I'll still have two possible ways to get online.
Of course, that only helps if I have enough juice to power my electronics. The second I heard the power might go out, I instantly plugged in my phone and computer to get them fully charged. I haven't bought a second battery for either yet, but I'm considering it.
The last thing I did was talk to everyone who works for me. I made sure they knew that there was a chance I'd be out of commission and that they were ready to pick up the ball if that were to happen.
In the end, I felt pretty good about my preparations, but it's not something I really had thought about much before that. What do you do to prepare for power outages?
Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.