Hurricane Sandy, Mobile Devices, and Staying Connected
There will be plenty of stories coming out over the days to come about Hurricane Sandy, the damage done, lives altered or lost, and how the rest of us made it through under difficult circumstances. (And if you have any interesting stories to tell about backup and disaster recovery, we want to hear them.) For this blogger and career technology journalist, it was very difficult to be out of touch with the world for a stretch of time that was longer than an hour, forget about more than a day. At my home office in the Philadelphia northern suburbs, the power went out on Monday at just before 8 pm. That also killed our Internet access and our (VoIP) phone service. All that is still out today.
The wind picked up soon after the power went out on Monday night, whistling by the house like I’ve never heard it before, and the sky lit up over and over again as if there were a lightening storm. But this lightening was sometimes pink and sometimes blue. It reminded me of the first scene where it all started going wrong in the Tom Cruise remake of War of the Worlds. It wasn’t lightening in this case; it was transformers blowing all over the neighborhood. And with the widespread power outage, my cell phone voice and data service died as well. (No mobile device management needed, for the moment.)
But we were extraordinarily lucky. Although our power and internet is still out (along with our heat and phone service), our family is safe and our home sustained no damage. My heart goes out to those who are struggling with the aftermath of this storm, particularly those in New Jersey and New York. I am only now learning of the extent of the damage today. Our power is still out, but I’ve relocated my family temporarily to a place with heat, power, Internet access, telephone service and television.
So when you are disconnected from broadband service and wireless data service, how can you keep up with the world? I guess some people are smart enough to have a wireless radio available. Not me. The one mobile device in my collection that retained its connectivity to the Internet through it all was my Amazon Kindle. Not the Kindle Fire. The older one with the keyboard, E Ink display, “experimental” web browser feature, and Whispernet. I could get updates on some news via (mostly) Facebook and other sites via Whispernet and let extended family know that we were okay.
So what’s your storm story? Did you discover any connectivity secrets? And how did your customers’ fare with their backup and disaster recovery plans?