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Disaster Plans


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9 replies to this topic

#1 meta

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 09:04 AM

Last week, while I was in the middle of an online presentation to about 100 people, our internet connection went down. The sound was on conventional phone lines, so we were still in contact with the audience. With some quick thinking on the part of my coworkers, we quickly directed the audience to a recorded version of the presentation, and offered to take live questions.

What I realized at that moment was that we needed written disaster plans. Before an event, we should think out what might go wrong, and write down what we will say and do in response. For example, we might discover alternatives for recovering at the presenter's end, or letting people know a time for a "rain date" or that they will recieve an e-mail with an update.

Can others describe some real or potential workplace disasters and share the way you recovered (or the way that you wish you had)? It might help us all to be prepared when the same thing happens to us.

#2 Bernard

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:46 PM

Backup your source code offsite in a secure location (on non-volitile media if possible). If a fire (or other disaster) destroys your office (or web servers), will you be able to function? :cheers:

#3 Scottie

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 01:16 PM

WebEx and similar services used to offer the ability to pre-record presentations, including voiceovers. A good idea, even if you plan to go with a live version. I'm sure they still do but it's been almost 2 years since I used cyberconferencing software.

It also doesn't hurt to have someone outside of the office/in another location on standby to take over if necessary.

#4 meta

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:18 PM

It also doesn't hurt to have someone outside of the office/in another location on standby to take over if necessary.

What a great concept! But we're lucky if we have enough people to staff the presentation in the first place.

#5 copywriter

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:29 PM

I prepare for the unexpected by having a complete set of detailed instructions that I send to two trusted people. As a "one man show," it's important that I have a backup plan in case I'm seriously injured or I die. :lol:

I update this information about 3 times a year so everybody is prepared.

#6 dragonlady7

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 07:46 AM

Oh, man... I have absolutely no disaster plan whatsoever, professionally or personally. I had trouble sleeping last night and was stuck in that half-asleep nightmare phase, and was thinking about what on earth I'd do if my boyfriend died unexpectedly, as I cannot afford the rent without him, don't have a car without him, don't have a plan without him, etc. My solution was to go find him, cling to him, and blubber.

Which wasn't very constructive but was really the only thing to do late at night.
At this point my debts outweigh my assets significantly so there's not much to arrange.

I don't yet have my own business... well, not just not up and running, but it's not even out of the early planning stages, to be honest, so I don't have to prepare for disasters yet, I have to prepare for preparation. I do know that the company I currently work for has absolutely no disaster planning in place whatsoever. They just don't. It's not their way. They ruined themselves financially a couple years ago by embarking on a deal that the other party backed out of-- and since nothing had been signed, there was no legal recourse. So the company's still struggling to recover. Depressing. One would hope they'd learned a lesson but I doubt it.

Perhaps a good disaster plan is really what can get you ahead in the world. Isn't that what the government just told the airlines-- they have to take possible terrorist attacks into account in their planning? I only skimmed the Google News headlines, so I'm not sure whether they meant security measures or just not going out of business like they all just did. Laziness conquers all, with me; I figure if the headlines I skimmed were important, somebody'd tell me :rofl:.

#7 copywriter

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 10:32 AM

Dragon,

Getting out of debt is what will get you ahead in the world. I got into SO much debt when I was in my 20's that I didn't think I'd ever get out. I abused credit cards, spent WAY too much on stuff I did not need at all, and was determined to do everything in my control to live way beyond my means.

When I made that last payment and was officially debt-free, I wanted to scream from the rooftops!!

Now, my husband and I don't buy anything (except our house) unless we can pay for it. We paid cash last year for my husband's 2003 Toyota Tundra. The dealer about fell right out of his seat!!

We saved for a long time for that truck, but it was worth it not to have a car payment and have to pay interest over 5-10 years.

Nothing goes on the credit cards unless we have the money in the bank to pay for it. Credit cards are very much a convenience now... not a necessity.

Call your local credit counselling office, or find some other free place that offers good, solid credit counselling/repair and get out of debt.

It's the best advice I could give anyone!

#8 dragonlady7

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 11:49 AM

I don't charge things on my credit card either. It's my student loans I'm talking about. I owe the Department of Education more than I'm going to make this year, and that's just for my bachelor's degree.

At least I know that if I die, the loan vanishes-- they don't hold your kin accountable for it, unless you're stupid enough to merge your loans with someone else's.

So, instead of owning a car currently, I'm paying for my degree. Disturbingly, I owe more than I'd ever pay for a car. Blechh.

Your financial situation sounds very prudent, Copywriter. Teach me, O wise one. :dance: Congrats on getting out of debt!
I'm starting to wonder what I'd do if I lost this job-- my budget is not good, because my expenses are only slightly below my income. But I can't find anywhere else to cut my expenses, and my income sure isn't rising. I actually made a Javascript budget generator using the Direct Loans pamphlet on budgeting and I stick to it as best I can, but-- I can't afford to put away the amount they recommend. Life keeps getting in the way. I spend far less on entertainment and transportation than they recommend, but it's still not possible to cut my rent and food to the levels they suggest. I just live in an expensive area and wages don't make up for it.
I should have at least a month's income socked away for emergencies-- at the very least. I don't; I have maybe a week's income in my checking account as a general rule because I haven't got around to spending it yet.
I hear these things get easier to manage as you work for longer and have a chance to build up some assets. I'm hoping that's true.
In the meantime I'm hoping that I can become a freelance copywriter to have that to fall back on in this uncertain economy, but it's very difficult to find the time to do all the preparatory work necessary.
Sigh. Well, at least I'm learning all kinds of things! If only life would go on pause, maybe I could implement my knowledge!

#9 copywriter

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 12:56 PM

I really don't know that I'd be the best teacher. I finally got fed up with never having any money and running from creditors. I asked my parents if I could move back home and gave them an outlined plan of what I wanted to accomplish.

They agreed and I set out to "free" myself. I really didn't do anything formal. I called my creditors and told them I knew I was past due, had large balances, etc. I also told them I intended to pay every penny but that it would take some time.

Most were understanding. A few reduced or eliminated finance charges to help me out. I just paid as much as I could each time until it was all gone.

I see your point about student loans, etc. Those can build up fast.

#10 meta

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:12 PM

Hmmm. I hadn't been thinking of personal disaster plans when I started this thread, but that's one area where I've invested a lot of time and thought.

May I recommend the best of oodles of money books that I've read? Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach. It's also fine for men. He also wrote a couples version, which is only slightly different. This book is exceptional because it begins by helping the reader to examine what she wants money to do for her and then to build a plan for her own needs. So many books prescribe - as if we all had the same needs, wants and interests. It also helps you address matters like what you're going to do if you lose your partner. It's commonly available at libraries, so you should not need to stress your budget to get your hands on a copy.

You might be able to negotiate a different payment schedule on those student loans, dragonlady.




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