The Rain Made Me Think It

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, August 24, 2007 at 06:33 AM with 1 comments

If you haven’t heard, we have had some rain here in the US Midwest. As well as some flooding, downed power lines and everything that goes with it. And as wet as the last few weeks have been, there is more to come.

Woven into just about news account of the storms are interviews with people who are almost always surprised at the high water levels and damage, many saying they have never seen anything like it in their life. Fortunately these people and everybody else has lived through this as the loss of life has been minimal to none. Going forward, hopefully these experiences will help us prepare for similar future events.

In addition to reviewing my disaster recovery plan, a couple of new thoughts came to mind as a result of the storm that I hadn’t considered before:

Infrastructure – Part of I-94 north of Chicago (known locally as the Edens Expressway) was closed due to flooding caused by a power outage at a pumping station alongside the highway. Outdoor highways have pumping stations?

Transportation – Commuter trains were stopped due to debris and power lines on the train tracks. Other trains had to go extremely slow due to crossing gates being blown off by high winds. Whenever storms come, I have always thought trains were the safest and most reliable way to go.

Communications – Last night I was to attend the monthly meeting of Chicago networking group Circle of Progress. I did not go due to the weather, and I was going to help the organizer as he was dealing with weather issues at home. Ideally canceling the meeting would be the way to go, but the meeting is managed using Meetup.com, and nowhere in a Meetup user’s account is a field to store a phone number or emergency/last minute contact method.

Much of the things in our lives are defined as a reaction to something, whether they are laws or designs. Now I have a few more things to think about and plan for.

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