What if you lost the internet for a week?

Many of us make our living via the internet, and have come to think of it as dependable as city water or electricity. However, as you might recall, the nation has experienced widespread and long-lasting electrical outages. Water, gas, even gasoline have at times been in short supply. How prepared are you to deal with a significant internet outage, or a shutdown of your network?

  • Do you have phone numbers for all your customers, teammates, suppliers? The telephone is your first alternative for checking orders and soothing nervous clients. Do you know how to set up a conference call in the absence of internet-based work sharing tools? For that matter, do you have phone service independent of the internet?
  • Do you have key documents (boilerplate, contracts, bid forms, etc.) on your PC as well as the company server? Have you printed off your travel plans?
  • If you bank on-line, do you know how to access your account, pay bills, and track deposits without the internet? Will your automatic payments be delayed?
  • How will you reach your internet broker to buy or sell if off-line? Do you believe it will have enough phone capacity and agents to serve its customers the old-fashioned way?
  • Does your fax machine still work?
  • Do you know where locally to buy a paper copy of the Wall Street Journal?

Think about your daily routine, and where it touches the internet. If those touches are crucial to your financial well-being, it would behoove you to think about how you could operate in its absence. Like all disaster planning, no one wants to think it could happen, but the shrewd prepare, just in case.

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