As a part-time first responder who is interested in emergency management, disaster recovery, and safety in general, I read pretty much everything related to those topics that I can get my hands on, including a lot of stuff about how people respond in a crisis. It’s fascinating stuff, and some really excellent books have been written about it, such as Amanda Ripley’s The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – And Why.
A side effect of this is that I have started paying attention to what I would call “unusual” deaths and accidents. People keep doing things that I would consider to be pretty damn unsafe, and it costs them. Recent examples are plenty. A man leaves the designated paths at Yellowstone, and falls into a spring that is so high-temperature and acidic that there is literally no body to recover. A young man accidentally shoots himself while taking a selfie with a pistol. A tourist in Australia goes swimming at 10 at night in an area clearly marked with signs warning about crocodiles and gets killed by a crocodile over 14 feet long. Or the guy in Georgia back in March who decided that it would be cool to pack an old lawnmower with 3 pounds of Tannerite and then shoot at it from only 40 feet away. He blew off his own leg, and the whole thing was caught on video.
And I realized that what all of these people had in common was this: a lack of fear. Specifically, a lack of what I would consider to be the healthy kind of fear.
Continue reading “Sometimes, fear is a good thing”
What gives? Oh, right, internet security and common sense do.
This is where you ask, what on earth is she talking about? I’ll tell you.
Continue reading “2 Husbands, 3 Children in 2 Countries and no Reality TV Show, Yet”
Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I have managed to rebuild our server into a better machine than it was. But for some reason the hard drive from the old server was giving me fits, trying to move data. Perhaps it was damaged somehow. I am not sure.
But I do know this: a backup of the backups saved our data.
Continue reading “IT redundancy really is your friend”
Years ago, I decided to build my own server. Part of it was wanting to have the experience of building and running my own server, because I had shockingly little server experience of any kind. Part of it was knowing how such a machine could help me manage the home network I was also building. So in 2010 our home server came into existence.
And then two weeks ago, it went out of existence.
Continue reading “Our home server has had some issues”
Sometimes, there is some wisdom in doing something yourself so you can actually understand it. Regarding the winter weather debacle in Georgia, this is NOT one of those times. This is not the sort of thing you want to figure out for yourself, any more than you want your architect to forget about silly things like plans so you can just “play it by ear”. Learn from the wisdom and experience of others. Hell, learn from your own experience, Atlanta. It’s been only 3 years since your last winter storm nightmare. Besides, your traffic is gridlocked in perfect weather on a normal day. I have been there, I know. Whenever I was driving to Macon for the weekend, I avoided Atlanta completely. What made you think having everyone go home at the same time during a snowstorm was a good idea?
Continue reading “Refusing to learn from experience”
Well, they said this would probably be a historical storm, in regards to the intensity and snowfall amounts, and it looks like that has pretty much held up to the predictions.
It turns out that this storm ranked #5 in the top ten snowstorms in the history of Boston, with an official total of 22.5 inches for Boston. Here in Cambridge it looks like our “official” total is about 26 inches.
Continue reading “Official stats regarding Snowpocalypse”
If you count my time in uniform, I have worked in public safety for a while. I have also worked on business continuity/disaster recovery planning committees. I am probably more well read on much of the literature than many public safety officers and government officials. I take this sort of thing quite seriously, because I know what is possible. And so when I hear people blow things off, even when experts are trying to tell them to take a particular danger or threat seriously, I get a bit frustrated.
The looming storm this weekend is a great example.
Continue reading ““That won’t happen.” Well, sometimes it does.”
and I am not just talking about backing up your data. I am talking about having backup plans for emergencies. And now that some time has passed I can talk about Hurricane Sandy and some of the terrible things that went wrong in New York and New Jersey.
Continue reading “Why backups are important…”
In time for Halloween, the military put on a joint training exercise that features… a zombie attack. While I am amused to no end, I do respect the attempts by the government to get people interested in emergency preparedness by using zombies as a training tool. It’s just like what the CDC did not too long ago. And as Hurricane Sandy should be making apparent to everyone, some basic emergency preparedness is a good thing. I may get to spend some more time outside in the rain like I did for last year’s hurricane, trying to make sure people don’t drive into downed power lines. We’ll see.
Now that almost everyone is back on the grid, NStar recently announced that it has no intention of reimbursing customers for any financial losses they may have suffered during the power outage this past week. And for some of those customers, I would imagine that the loss is a bit more than pocket change, to put it mildly. Imagine all of the restaurants that had to throw out all of their meat, seafood, produce, and dairy products. And that is on top of the loss they suffered for having to let customers leave without paying. Plus a couple of days where those businesses made no money. And so the wait staff and bartenders made no tips. It is not as bad as it could have been, but it was certainly bad enough. And that is why I will continue to harp on this issue of planning for events like this.
Continue reading “A follow-up to my earlier post on emergency planning”