At the moment my home city of Brisbane and more than 75% of the state of Queensland, Australia is experiencing a serious flood event.  If you are unfamiliar with what is going on here are a few links you could check out:

Planning for Disasters
Jan 12: Flooded Castlemaine Street, Milton. Picture: Peter Wallis

Many visitors to this website are from parts of the world that suffer these types of natural disasters regularly, or have had significant natural events in recent years.  Others live in countries that face other serious challenges such as political instability, violence, and war.  All of us live with the risk of events such as fire, accident or illness.

As IT professionals we perhaps hold a slight advantage over the average person when it comes to being prepared for a disaster.  A lot of you deal with disaster planning and readiness on a daily basis in your jobs.

Those same skills can, and should be put to use for your own personal life as well.  For all of the time and energy that we spend on making sure that email access or applications remain online or recoverable, we should also spend some time and energy preparing ourselves and our families for the unexpected.

If you’re not sure where to start then ask yourself these questions:

  • What items or things in my home are replaceable and irreplaceable?
  • If I had to leave the house without time to save any items, what would I lose that I could never replace?
  • If I had to leave home in less than 15 minutes what would I be able to grab in that time?
  • Would I have food, water and appropriate clothing for the weather extremes in my area to last 24-48 hours?
  • Would I have light and access to radio stations if there was no electricity supply available?
  • Which roads would I take to leave the area quickly if a threat was approaching from a particular direction?
  • Who would I call for emergency assistance if I needed it?

The Queensland government is accepting direct donations for floor relief here.

Be prepared.  Stay safe.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for


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