"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." - Steve Jobs
As Hurricane Sandy rolls in, I’m able to keep up to date on everything through a variety of sources; Twitter is full of first-hand reports, the news channels and blogs are spewing as much content as they can, and everyone with a smartphone is throwing up pictures onto Instagram. Technology connects us, even from hundreds (thousands?) of miles away.
But what we have to remember is that not everyone is as technologically savvy as you or I might be. If you’ve got family in the area, make sure you’ve checked on them and that they’re out of harm’s way.
That being said… sometimes us tech-savvy folk can get a kick out of people who just aren’t “in the know” like we are. Back in 2008, I worked for my local utility provider, doing support for cable TV and internet. You may remember 2008 as the summer that Iowa (and other Mississippi River states) got drilled with a nasty flood. Said utility provider was flooded out, so we had to move to our portable site on higher ground, while still providing support. I was manning the phones one afternoon shortly after this move, and this was the conversation I had with a gentleman…
Me: Local Utility Provider, this is Nic. How can I help you?
Guy: My webnet don’t work!
Me: … your internet doesn’t work?
Me: Alright, well we can definitely take a look at that for you. May I have your last name and address please?
– guy provides information –
A brief segway… If you look at this video, the bridge right behind the circular building heads to the northern section of town, where everything was under water. It’s a smaller community, warranting its own grade school, and was mostly populated by lower-income families and the elderly.
Me: Sir… are you at your house right now?
Guy: Well, yeah! I came back and my webnets don’t work!
Me: … sir, you’re in the middle of a flood zone. The entire North Cedar district is closed off.
Guy: I know! I had to use my boat to get out here, and climbed in the upstairs window! My daughter said she sent me a webmail with pictures of her new baby!
Me: Well, sir, since your entire neighborhood is under water, we had to shut power off. Without power, your modem isn’t going to function, and you’re not going to be able to get internet. Perhaps you should try going to the library and logging into your email there. They’ve set up extra computers for all the displaced people to use to contact family and check their email and the like.
Guy: Oh. I didn’t even think about that. Ha ha. Probably good thing there ain’t no power, huh? GZZZZZZZZZ I’d be roast! Could you imagine that? Ha ha!
Me: Yes sir, it’s a very good thing they did that.
Posted: Monday, Oct 29, 2012