When the storm strikes: home office preparedness

Here I am running off the gasoline in my generator. A nasty storm came through that left thousands, including us, without power. It made me thankful that I was prepared – are you? Can a bad storm or other glitch in your service take your business down? Following are some things to think about:

  1. Are your desktop PC’s or servers on a battery backup? Windows doesn’t like to be shut down unexpectedly and has been known to corrupt files and drives when that happens. Thankfully we had all our computers (that weren’t laptops) on a Uninterruptable Power Source (UPS) so I had time to run around and shut them down when the lights went out. You can ever get software that closes down your computer automatically when it runs off the UPS for a certain amount of time. The disk you save could be your own!
  2. Do you know where the closest Wi-Fi Hotspot is? Mine is the little coffee shop in town. It’s free, so when the power is out they get a lot of business from the folks in my neighborhood.

  3. Do you have an old-fashioned phone that doesn’t require power? I am amazed at how many people have FORGOTTEN what a regular phone is. Keep at least one in your house (they’re dirt cheap!) for those black out times.

  4. Have you considered a generator? We lose power quite often and I can’t afford to stop working every time, and I CERTAINLY can’t afford to restock my freezer either when my meat spoils. We invested in a fairly-moderate generator a few years back that my husband was able to connect in through the circuit break panel so it runs most of the house. Don’t ask me how he did it, but it works great when we need it!

  5. Last but not least, do you have an off-site backup of your critical data? I know this is nothing new, but I know a lot of people who don’t do this. Do me a favor: don’t wait to lose everything to start backing up your files. I’ve had too many hard drive crashes (don’t buy a Toshiba laptop!) to not be diligent about backing up. Don’t get caught with your without your data duplicated somewhere.

Don’t wait until a hurricane, thunderstorm, or rolling blackout interrupts your business. Take some proactive steps NOW to make sure you’re ready when the lights go out in Georgia (or wherever you’re located)…

Julie Lenzer Kirk, an award-winning entrepreneur and mother of two, grew her business to multi-millions in revenues while raising her family. She cashed out of her company and now teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland while providing workshops, consulting, and keynotes as the President & CEO of Path Forward International. She is the author of The ParentPreneur Edge: What Parenting Teaches About Building a Successful Business. Sign up for her monthly “Boot in the Butt”(TM) e-newsletter at www.JulieLenzerKirk.com


  1. Sarah says

    I think that you have hit on a great point here – most business and individuals do not disaster plan! I have been running a business blog and over time I have amassed some excellent ad copy with glyphius. I know hat my server could go down or my house could burn up so I have backed it up onto a different web server as well as an external hard drive – at least if I lost everything i own I could still access it on the web.

  2. says

    It’s true. I can’t understand why people think some disaster is so completely impossible. All companies need a contingency plan, it just makes good business sense.


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