“The Florida Supreme Court has erected a safety fence outside its building and is beginning repairs to its basement, where water seepage has destroyed some 12,000 books during the last two years.”

Two years?? Really??

This is one of those stories that just beg for the question of “what did they think they were doing??” Putting valuable items in a basement, and then acting surprised by the laws of physics (you know, the one that states that water runs downhill! — something else runs downhill… but, this is a family-friendly blog.)

I’ve worked on projects to replace library collections in the past, and it is amazing how often that good people, with good intentions, can assume that bad things just won’t happen to them. They put some of their most unreplacable treasures in places that are exposed to natural disasters, and assume that it will be safe there until we have the time and money to give it the care that it needs.

Here’s a suggestion: Only put furnature from IKEA in the basement! At least that can be replaced at a pretty reasonable cost. If you put something of value in the basement, then expect that something bad will happen to it. And, when it does finally happen to you, please remember that you are not the victims of the situation, but rather a contributor to the situation!

As my esteemed colleague has commented on some Ike IT frustrations, I feel compelled to comment on some Ike IT stars.

My firm’s IT group road out the storm and kept our systems up and running. As the ‘main’ office for our firm, all of our critical systems reside here in Houston. Of course we have an off-site backup, as all firms should.

Even though our building sustained some damage, our systems never went down. IT staff was on-site and at our backup location monitoring things and making sure we stayed live.

The result, I never stopped getting emails (and working) and we had critical infrastructure available for lawyers and staff that needed it.

Kudos to our IT group!

My co-blogger Greg has already posted a great list of DR lessons, so I thought I would add a thought of my own.

My DR/KM recommendation is for an organization, instead of individuals. For the duration of Ike and his aftermath, I have lived electronically on my BlackBerry. I tried not to complain too much, since I at least had access to information. But it became very apparent not many resources are well-tuned for mobile access.

I know my other co-blogger Lisa may take issue with this comment as she goes to great lengths to format websites for mobile viewing. Even though they are viewable, they are not very WAP friendly, as navigation and browsing are tedious.

And beyond web sites, I could have benefited from mobile access to systems and information. Although I was able to limp along and BS my way through many tasks, I wasn’t able to really live on my BB.

For KM, I think we need to look ahead and move more purposely in a WAP direction. What good is knowledge if it’s not accessible when I need it most?

In case you didn’t know this, all the geeks on this Blog are based out of beautiful warm and sunny Houston, Texas (oh, okay….  hot and humid Houston – but it is still beautiful!)  And, unless you’ve been under a rock, we have a little hurricane coming down on us in the next couple of days.

This brings me to the “geeky” part of the posting.  How does one stay in contact with others during these type of natural disasters??  When California had its earthquake a couple of months ago, the cell phones went out, but the land line phones stayed operational.  That just kind of goes against what I thought would happen.  And, because I’m all geeky, I don’t have a land line at my house, so I’m assuming that the cell phone towers will be the first thing to fail during the storm.
So, how does one communicate with no land line and no cell phone service??  According to Ernie the Attorney, the answer is “Twitter.”  
I thought I’d try this out during Gustav, but that storm went east of us.  But, it looks like we’re dead on for a nice little bout of rain and wind with Mr. Ike, so I’ll get to put Twitter to the test.
If you have nothing else to do, or you have some sick morbid sense of humor and want to follow the situation through IKE, you can follow my “Twittering”!!