At the Great Voice Company, I thought we had a pretty good emergency plan until Hurricane Sandy struck, and I found out I was wrong. There were many things I never would have thought about had I not experienced the situation myself.
In today’s article, I’ve got lots of practical tips to enhance your emergency preparedness so you can keep your voice over business up and running to the best of your ability.
Before the storm I did what you’re supposed to do: fill up the tank with gas (boy was I glad I did that!), get some extra cash, buy water and stock up on batteries flashlights and non-perishable food.
It never occurred to me that we would be without power and internet for as long as we were and that delivering and producing finished voice over work would become such a challenge.
Here’s my helpful checklist:
- Make a list of all the places within 10 miles where you might charge your cell phone, stay warm and get some power in the event of an emergencyI spent 4 days working at a local library. They were awesome! I intend to compile the phone numbers of all the libraries within a 20 mile radius in case this happens again. Bring a power strip. Often it’s difficult to find an available outlet but with a power strip you can often plug in and make some friends.
- Get Battery Back Ups for Your Cell Phone
I haven’t fully explored this yet, but I hear there are battery backups that will give your phone one or two full charges.
- Make sure you have a phone charger for your car
- Store your audio files and works-in-progress off site or “in the cloud”
Investigate off-site back up systems. You and your customers will be able to access your files from anywhere, especially if you don’t have access to your laptop. I like Drop Box as a file transfer and storage system.
- Create a “client and agent group” in OutlookNotify all your clients and agents of your limited availability with a single email
- Keep a non-digital list of all your important contacts and providers, including account numbers. Print them out on a piece of paper and laminate it.
Include phone companies, power companies and clients and agents. You don’t want these vital contacts to be trapped inside a dead cell phone or computer.
- Find a secretarial service in a city in another part of the country where you can transfer your phones
While our office in NJ was closed for the emergency, we were able to transfer our phones to a company in Texas. They then emailed us our messages.
- Carry a small flashlight in your purse or pocket
I sure was glad I had one of these. It’s also wise to have one in your car. I now have several types of flashlights, including the hand-cranked kind that don’t need batteries.
- Buy a Battery Powered RadioRemember those? I didn’t have one and I had to go out to the car to hear the news.
- Donate to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army
My community was hard-hit by the storm and these fantastic organizations were there with food, clothing and even cleaning supplies.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. How to Disaster-Proof Your Voice Over Business.