Planning Ahead for Bad Weather

Monday night the National Weather Service in my area issued a Winter Storm Warning. They forecasted snow and sleet in my area. I figured since ice was involved the power might go out, and because my laptop’s battery would only allow me to work for no more than two hours, I knew I needed to plan ahead.

I worked as usual Monday night by writing for all the clients I normally have scheduled for that night. Then once I finished the work for those three clients, I added Tuesday night’s work to my to-do list, which included three more clients. I wanted to plan ahead for what Mother Nature had in store for my area, and since some of my clients for Tuesday involved writing blog posts, I knew I could prepare those posts ahead of time and schedule them to go live when they were supposed to. Thank God for the WordPress feature that allows you to write and schedule blog posts in advance.

As predicted, Southern Illinois woke up Tuesday morning to approximately three inches of ice. Not only did we have ice, but that ice caused several trees to fall onto power lines. The result: over 11,000 homes (including mine) were without power. I felt lucky since I had planned ahead and even luckier when I discovered that hubby’s boss called him off work. Since he wasn’t working that day, we only had my income to depend on. However, things only got worse as the day went on. Unfortunately, more sleet moved in and the power stayed off longer than I had expected it to. Furthermore, when I fired up my laptop to work for two hours off the battery, I learned that the Internet was down!

To make a long story short, hubby has been out of work all week because they couldn’t run the plant due to the ice, and we just had our power and Internet access restored. Because I hadn’t expected to be without electricity and Internet for three days, I’m now two days behind. Moreover, I had one client who e-mailed me an assignment before I lost power and Internet access, and he was supposed to reply with further details as well as a deadline. Well, when I was finally able to get back to work, that client did send me an e-mail during the time my power and Internet was out. He included the instructions as well as the deadline. Eeek… now I have to contact that client and explain the situation.

The one tip for planning ahead that I would recommend is to plan ahead wisely. In other words, common sense told me ice could knock out power, and I did know it could take a few days for the electric company to restore power to all homes, but for some reason, that didn’t register in my mind when I was planning ahead for one day. It also didn’t cross my mind at the time that the ice might knock out my DSL service. The lesson I learned was I should have planned ahead for three or four days. At least I’ll know to plan ahead farther next time.

Have you ever experienced a weather emergency that put a damper on your writing schedule for more than two days? Share it with me in the comments area.


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