Disaster Readiness - Zero

22 Feb 2021

The way we were cut off from the outside world was worrying. Power, internet, cell network - everything was down. An always on electricity and water is something we take for granted but there are some things that I need to be prepared with. The New Oil wrote on their lessons in disasters and redundancy following the snow storm and there are some fine points in there for being prepared for disaster in some way.

Keeping in touch with friends and checking their status was hard given the spotty cellular connection. Calls and text kept getting dropped. The rare moments when we could get any signal, my wifes whatsapp was abuzz. If the cellular network had failed completely, there was nothing else we could do. There are P2P solutions but its useful for broadcasting on a bigger scale and there needs to be a network of people to broadcast it to. Its useful in organizing protests and avoiding surveillance but I am not sure how useful it is in reaching a specific set of people far away from each other.

We had limited supplies to get by and had to queue up at the stores well ahead of their scheduled opening time to get more stuff. I don’t carry cash anymore and if things were worse for longer, it would have meant trouble. Our car was nearly out of gas and if it came to having to purchase gas in cans, I didn’t have money for it either. Having cash on hand for emergency is something I have to make a habit of again.

Back home in the islands a power cut is no big deal. It happened all the time and is something that I have grown up with but not this extreme cold. A transistor radio was a constant factor and we got our news and countless hours of entertainment from a small box. I certainly wished I had a transistor radio last week to get some kind of information about the outside world.

I self-host few things which, needless to say, went down with the power. There’s a small UPS to handle minor power loss and I keep local backups but no offsite backup yet. I haven’t learned my lesson even after losing my hard disk last year 🤦🏾‍♂️️. @ndanes shared this Backblaze backup set up and its far simpler and cheaper compared to my original plan of leaving a disk and a Pi connected to my friends router.

I don’t expect to find myself in such a situation too often but if there’s something this snow storm has taught me, it’s that I am woefully unprepared for any kind of emergency.

Day 84 - Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

tag: 100daystooffload