As the recent heavy storms in the Midwest has brought to my attention in a personal way — even the best laid plans can have weaknesses. In my case, it was an inconvenience, but a good lesson.
I got a reminder about cascading failures in complex systems via the AT&T data network collapse (thanks to a crushed datacenter), as well as a frontline wake-up call about the importance of calculating generator gasoline supplies properly.
So, while you read this, I am probably out adding 30 gallons to my reserve. Plus, working on a “lessons learned” document with my family to more easily remember the things we continually have to re-invent every time there is a power outage of any duration.
I share with you these personal lessons for a couple of reasons. First, I hope you’ll take a few moments and update/review your own personal home plans for emergencies. I hope you’ll never need them, but knowing how to handle the basics is a good thing. Then move on to how you’ll manage trivialities of personal comfort like bandwidth, coffee & beer. 🙂
Lastly, I hope you take time and review your company’s DR/BC plans as well. Now might be a good time to do exactly what I hope AT&T, Amazon, Netflix, Instagram, etc. are doing and get those plans back in line with attention to the idea that failures can and often do, cascade. This wasn’t an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane (though we did have 80+ mph winds) – it was a thunderstorm. Albeit, a big thunderstorm, but a thunderstorm nonetheless. We can do better. We should expect better. I hope we all will get better at such planning.
As always. thanks for reading and until next time, stay safe out there.
PS – The outpouring of personal kindness and support from friends, acquaintances and family members has been amazing. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful folks who offered to help. You are all spectacular! Thank you!