In Life in the Reporting Lane/ Off the Record/ Tips

Be Prepared: Post Hurricane Irma Suggestions and Free Emergency Checklist

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Yes, my daughter and I were relieved to have made it through Hurricane Irma safely. We drove our two dogs, steno machine and laptop, a week’s worth of work clothes and shoes, plus all the other things we couldn’t manage to live without should our home get pummeled out of dodge – okay, three hours north, but it was better than south Florida!  That moment of unexpected packing – of course we didn’t plan any of this in advance! – really made me consider what was important, not just from a personal and nostalgic perspective but from an adult view with regards to pet meds, birth certificates, valuables, and most of all…steno notes, backups, SD cards, external hard drives!

I knew I had everything backed up to my Dropbox – love Dropbox, link below! – and I had my external hard drive with me, so time in the hotel would be spent cleaning up my backup files and folders and making sure that if I had to enlist anyone else to help with a transcript, they’d be able to easily find it and everything would be right there for them.  Then it hit me, EXHIBITS!  Yes, I have two bins from 2011 to present full of exhibits that my former office didn’t store themselves.  Luckily, I had them in waterproof bins already, I just had to set them up on higher shelves in the closet to make sure they wouldn’t get swept away if we had flooding.  In the end, a disaster is a disaster.  So long as I did everything possible to safeguard those exhibits and my SD cards and planners from years past, I was all set – fingers crossed too.

I’ve made a checklist to remind you of the things that might pop out of your head in the moment, but better yet, collect these items, scan them, and store them in your Dropbox or another Cloud system.  I still believe in paper, so I had copied all important documents and wrote down all account numbers and contact details just in case.  I also had my daughter’s and my dogs’ latest immunization records to be on the safe side.  It’s the little things you don’t realize you need until you leave home without it.  Sure, most, if not all, companies allow you to access your accounts online, but what do you do with no Internet service or

Sure, most, if not all, companies allow you to access your accounts online, but what do you do with no Internet service for more than a week, you can’t waste gas to drive to a hotspot, and you need to check on your credit cards or other important services – hello, insurance company!

One other thing I thought of was having an emergency reporter buddy who is on your same CAT system and you trust to do your transcripts while you’re out of town or for whatever reason are unable to do your job.  Make sure they have access to your cloud or give them a thumb drive of your holds and current jobs, etc.

Wishing on every star I see that we won’t be facing more hurricanes this season, but at least I know I’ll be prepared beyond just hurricane supplies!

Stay safe and be prepared!



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