I’m writing this post late Monday morning just outside of Cleveland where we’re already seeing the effects of Frankenstorm, a storm predicted to be the largest the East Coast has ever seen. Granted, it’s only raining right now, which is just one of the many forms of precipitation we enjoy almost daily, but we’re located on the outskirts of what will be the collision of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and possibly snow.
And while the Kuno Creative office won’t be hit by the brunt of the storm, we may see a bit of flooding or experience a power surge or two. (In fact, we had a quick outage earlier this morning.) So, if your office is located on the East Coast, and you and your coworkers weren’t lucky enough to get the day off (I’m talking to you, New York Stock Exchange), we’ve compiled a few tips for weathering the storm.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t think twice about where your computer is plugged in or if your documents are safely stored in multiple locations. (I notoriously save documents to the desktop without backing up.) But one power outage could mean you lose important client documents you’ve worked on for hours, so keep your computer safe. Plug your computer into an uninterrupted power supply and not directly into a power outlet. Also, ensure all important documents are saved in multiple places (an external server, cloud database, even a USB), and shut your computer down at the end of the workday.
Emergency weather drills seem frivolous in the workplace—until they’re actually needed. Do you know what you’re supposed to do in case of an office flood? What about a fire? Do you know where your emergency food and supplies are located? Do you know your local emergency phone numbers in case a coworker needs immediate health attention? Ask your boss or office manager to hold a workplace disaster meeting reviewing emergency protocol procedures for the emergency at hand (i.e. Frankenstorm). If your boss isn’t available for a meeting, review any company literature that may contain more information (like your employee handbook). Employers can check out a TLNT post for resources for workplace disaster information.
Hopefully the worst negative effect your office will experience from Frankenstorm is a short Internet lapse. Chatting up your coworkers when the Internet goes out can be awfully tempting, but you should really keep yourself busy in this situation. Maddie wrote a great post about what inbound marketers can do when the Internet goes out back in July when Kuno last experienced an outage.
To her list, I’d like to add two ideas for keeping busy without the Internet: Read company content and revisit training. If your company is anything like Kuno Creative, you probably have magazine racks full of recently produced eBooks, checklists and guides that should have been read months ago. (I know, I know; we’re all busy.) Take this opportunity to give them a thorough read. (You may even get a blog post out of it!) Then there’s training videos and other resources (like your employee handbook) that you probably haven’t examined since, well, training. The loss of the Internet is the perfect time to watch these videos again. This time, you won’t have your social media notifications distracting you every 15 seconds.
And the most important tip of all for weathering Frankenstorm: Stay indoors. Reconsider your planned lunch outing or consider staying at the office a few extra hours to avoid poor weather conditions while driving.
How is your office weathering Frankenstorm? Let me know in the comment section!
Photo credit: Fazia
Lisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitterand LinkedIn.