In Perth this week we have had the worst summer storm in nearly 40 years. Over 150,000 houses lost their power (and 5 days later, there are still many homes without power) and the city has been declared a Natural Disaster Zone.
We, fortunately, did not lose our power for very long. But it occurred to me that if we were still without power how would I manage to keep my business running?
So I thought I had better do some research on what sort of options would be available to me if, highly unlikely as it is, my power supply was interrupted for such a long length of time and I was unable to do my job. I’ve only been doing this for a year – so it obviously hasn’t been very high on my to-do-list, but I think if my power was off for a week my business would suffer.
We recently went away on holiday and I thought I’d be prepared and bought a pre-paid wireless broadband modem. I was really quite proud of myself, thinking that I was finally becoming technologically advanced, but when we got to the campsite I found they had WiFi set up for the campers! My how things have changed.
I knew this was available at our local globally franchised take away food outlet, but had never heard of it being available from a tent! So, I now have this modem available to me – the problem is I haven’t remember to top it up, so if I needed to use it during an outage I would first have to find my mobile phone (and hope it was charged), and then spend ½ hour on hold waiting, waiting for someone to help me. By the time I had topped up my credit the power would probably be back on.
So I decided to see if there was an easier way.
My first stop on my research was to look at UPS, or an uninterruptible power supply, as it would give me a back up option so I wouldn’t lose my work. I then followed that up with a general search for prices. EEEEK! What a variety of prices. They seem to range from $199 all the way up the the $7000’s.
Next stop was Satellite Broadband which sounded very complicated but, on further investigation, really wasn’t. And not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. The plans I looked at appeared to start from around $10 per month, which is cheap for peace of mind. The only issue I would have with this is that our particular blackouts this week were caused by very heavy rainfall and very large hail. Satellite Broadband, from what I have read really only works if the skies are clear. So maybe this option is good as a backup, but this is dependant on the cause of the power failure?
After an hour or so of searching – these 3 options (including the camping modem) seem to me to be the best.
I would be really interested to hear whether people have backups in place for power outages? I would imagine that some of the Northern winter storms can cause the power to off for quite some time. Do you just use this time as a forced holiday away from the books?
I think I would probably use the down time to catch up on the mighty pile of books that are piling up next to my bed. Although, if there was no power I would have to fight the Other Half for the torch.