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My Week: Earthquake. Hurricane. Zombie Apocalypse?

Richmond, VA EarthquakeMy week started out with a bang! Er, a shake, more accurately, and a BIG one. I was sitting at a table with Camille, Social Savvy Geek’s expert on all things Senior, when the room started trembling. For a moment, we thought a freight train had run amok, since we were very near the tracks, but as the shaking increased and the entire building started shaking we looked at each other and I said, “Earthquake!” We sat there gripping the table and staring at the pictures skittering around on the walls for what seemed like an eternity. Just when we thought that our hearts couldn’t beat any faster and the house couldn’t shake any harder without falling down; it finally stopped.

I tweeted, “OMG! Earthquake!” and then attempted to call my father, who was just up the road, but there was no phone service- cell or landline. We turned on the TV, but they were playing soap operas on the local stations, and the national channels hadn’t gotten the news, yet. Social Media was it. AT&T’s 3G service was still working, so we could confirm that, indeed, the quake had been felt by many. Texting came back online rather quickly and our families were confirmed to be okay. Relief. Richmond, VA didn’t suffer any very serious damage, but that didn’t make the experience any less frightening.

Hurrican Irene, Richmond, VAJust a few short days after the earthquake (which turned out to have been a 5.8 with the epicenter in Mineral, VA) it was already old news as the East Coast braced itself for Hurricane Irene. It hit Richmond Saturday and we haven’t had power since. 3G was much less reliable during this particular disaster and I suspect that we’ve lost a tower or three in the area. I felt lucky enough to have an iPhone with Hootsuite, Facebook, LinkedIn, and every other social media tool that I’ve come to rely on throughout this mess. I’ve kept in touch with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. Updates are posted about safety, power status, and whose house now boasts the largest tree uprooted and overturned.

I’m in a borrowed office on my MacBook today in Short Pump (the West End of Richmond), which is a newer area and has buried power lines. I was able to maintain communication using my iPhone and get some work done on my iPad (with it’s fantastically long battery life), but productivity has been at a low point. I’m a multitasker and power outages definitely crimp my style! The good news is that I took a few hours to read a physical book, which hasn’t happened in a while (I will admit I wished I had a digital copy on my iPad). It was almost like forced camping, but with a much nicer tent.

Zombie ApacalypseDon’t get me wrong; I love camping! The chance to get away from technology and rest from the constant connection to everyone and everything is a huge relief- when it’s planned! I just don’t like taking unplanned breaks from my work. Now, it’s time to get back to it. I’m on the look out for a Zombie Apocalypse, but so far no sign of impending doom… if I hear any word to the contrary I’ll be sure to tweet immediately!

Many thanks to all those who asked after us and our families! Everyone at Social Savvy Geek is okay. As of this afternoon none of us has any power, but every single employee and all of their family members are safe and sound. Also thanks to Skylar for arranging a temporary office for me to use and to Mark at All Tune & Lube for the use of his office!

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Laura Pence Atencio

As Founder and CEO of Social Savvy Geek, LLC., Laura Pence Atencio is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and business owners meet and exceed their goals. She is committed to providing the most engaging and effective strategies in online marketing by combining traditional business networking and marketing fundamentals and best practices with current and engaging online marketing methods and tactics. Laura has worked with some of the top names in Internet Marketing and has consulted with entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits in the US and abroad. She is the author of the popular article, 10 Tips to Build Your Twitter List Now, which has been published both online and in print in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. A lifetime student herself, Laura has achieved certification as a Computer Administrative Specialist at Beta Tech and has studied Art Education, History, Art History, and Criminal Justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fascinated by learning, sharing and growing, not just in business, but in life. She participates in US Masters Swimming and has ranked in the top 25 nationally in her age group in both the 50 and 100-yard backstroke. She served in the VA Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer in the 229th Engineer Battalion. She never meets strangers, only friends not yet made– an attitude that serves her extremely well in the networking world, both online and off. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and German Shephard.

  • Hi Laura, I’m so glad you survived the week. I hope it’s smooth sailing ahead without any natural disasters to further interrupt daily life for you.

    We were very lucky. The hurricane hit our area outside Philadelphia very hard. We had lots of local flooding and downed trees. Many areas still are without power. But we never lost electricity or had any trees come down on our property.

    I was counting on using my iPad if we lost electricity. That was my means of communication after the earthquake with my sister who lives in Charlottesville. If you’re commuting to your Short Pump office from home in your car, try to use your car charger to keep your iPhone and iPad charged as using 3G can really drain the battery.

    May you have a peaceful, boring week ahead!

    • I’m glad to hear that you also came through the storm okay. Our power was restored tonight, but the Internet is still out and that’s the only thing that I was waiting on! Yes, it will be nice to have the option of doing laundry, but really if the Internet was working I could happily sit in the dark for weeks! Work by flashlight? Fine! No Internet? I’m screwed! I’m replying to you by iPhone (which I can now charge in the house instead if the car) and am quite grateful that I live somewhere where these living conditions are a temporary inconvenience and not a daily reality. This too shall pass! I am also hoping for an uneventful remainder of the week… *fingers crossed*…

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