Having Backup Services Is Invaluable

I love my dialup! Yes, I mean dialup Internet connection. I’ve been on a broadband wireless connection via a satellite on my roof for a little over a year, but I kept my dialup account just in case I ever needed a backup. Today I needed a backup.

My wireless connection was acting flaky all morning, and then around 11am it completely disappeared. I had deliverables to send to two clients today, and I was not expecting this! I was more than a little concerned.
I called the ISP tech support and learned my ISP was “doing some maintenance on the main tower.” How long was it going to be down? “I don’t know; the system doesn’t say.”
AARRGGGHHHH!!! Silent scream…
Now I don’t know if it was emergency maintenance or not, but if they had scheduled “normal” maintenance during a Friday,when most of their customers use their Internet connection for business purposes, I’d be *really* ticked off!
But, I didn’t really want to get my feathers in a ruffle today, so I told myself that one of the recent tornadoes in the area probably caused some damage that they just discovered and had to fix today. But I am sending them a message about planning maintenance and customer service anyway…
Every month when I pay my $12.95 bill for my monthly dialup service I ask myself, do I really need this? But then I come to my senses and realize that $12.95 is a small price to pay to be able to successfully submit my project deliverables, articles, books and other messages to my clients and business partners by the dates and times that I said I would them sent. I’m glad I didn’t skimp and decide to take the risk. Today I got my deliverables submitted on time thanks to my dialup access!
However, there are still many organizations that are woefully unprepared to respond to emergencies and disasters. I recently had the great opportunity to perform survey response analysis for Cutter Consortium on emergency preparedness; “Wake Up and Be Prepared: Preventing a Full-Blown Crisis.”
I was somewhat surprised by how little some organizations have prepared for emergencies and disaster recovery. In this day and age you’d think all businesses would understand the importance of being prepared.
I found it interesting that of those that have done planning most are overwhelmingly dependent upon their Internet connections for communications to others outside their enterprise during a diaster or emergency. But think about it; if there is a significant disaster or emergency it is possible, or even likely, that portions of the Internet grid, and multiple ISPs, would be made unavailable.
Keeping the old methods of communication around just in case you don’t have these now-taken-for-granted ways of communicating is a pretty good idea; pagers, shortwave radio, and even walkie-talkies. Whatever is available for you to use. I was reminded again today that even what seem like obsolete communications technologies can come in pretty darn handy when the newest and fastest technologies are unexpectedly taken away for a while.
Oh…I just realized…I’d better unclench my jaws now…

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