Be Proactive – Be Prepared

Marler Clark is a law firm in Seattle Washington.  Outstandingly proactive and quoted here for my readers to view.

I especially liked the generous financial contribution to the employees and the last item on the list to stock in your pantry.

Here is what I sent my staff late last week:

All, see symptoms below – if you are sick, please stay home.

I have asked Chris and Michelle to give me some ideas on recommendations on how to responsibly deal with this from a medical issue.  We will give you all our thoughts early next week.

All, please email to Leslie all your contact information and a close contact too.  Leslie, please share that with all.

All, please let me know if anyone needs any technology to work from home if necessary if this becomes a bigger problem.  Think about what you might need to work from home for an extended period of time.  What do you need to effectively do your job from home – computer, paper, pens, etc.?  COVID-19 is not an excuse to work from home, but I want to be prepared and sensible.

Also, let’s look at travel schedules over the coming months to see if there are alternatives.  Please shoot me your travel over the next 30-60 days.

All, take a hard look at your cases – what deadlines might be impacted by Court and other office closures, etc.  I want us to be proactive and think ahead.  I do not want deadlines missed.

Finally, not to be a “prepper,” but Kelli, please drop $2,500 (pre-tax) into everyone’s account on Monday to be used as they see fit to prepare for some disruptions.  I have not thought of exactly what those needs might be, but there are probably a few websites that have suggestions.

Here are some ideas for being prepared for home:

All medications (over the counter *ibuprofen* , allergy, cold etc and prescriptions )

All household products you will need for two weeks (toilet paper, soap, paper towels, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc)

Supply of water for two weeks

Food for two weeks

         ⁃        Chicken broth

         ⁃        Beans

         ⁃        Onions

         ⁃        Garlic

         ⁃        Potatoes – sweet, Yukon, etc

         ⁃        Pasta

         ⁃        Canned tomatoes

         ⁃        Steel cut oats

         ⁃        Peanut butter

         ⁃        Bread *freezer*

         ⁃        Eggs

         ⁃        Frozen meat

         ⁃        Canned fish

         ⁃        Jerky or dried meat

         ⁃        Dried nuts and fruit

         ⁃        Popcorn

         ⁃        Chocolate

         ⁃        Wine/booze of choice

Link to the full article post.


Have a Plan for Business Continuity

Missing List in Joplin Tornado Drops to 156 –

“The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce said Friday that at least 400 businesses and 5,000 jobs were affected by the tornado.”

If you click through and read this WSJ online article, you’ll notice a small video window.  The opening picture of the video is an electric guitar embedded neck first into a wall of a house.  I had never thought of my guitars as deadly weapons, but in the right weather conditions they are.
When I read about the number of businesses affected I silently hoped these businesses had disaster recovery and business continuation plans in place.  Unfortunately, the most likely answer is no and most of these businesses will ultimately fail.
Not many of us think about total destruction from an F-5 tornado.  But if you manage to survive at one point you will have to get back to work.
Time to spend some time revising my own business recovery and continuity plans.

Remote Underwriting – More Tech Notes

Last week was a heckuva week.  After several emails pitching me to upgrade my spyware protection service I relented under the mounting pressure.  Besides, it was only $5.  So I downloaded my anti-virus upgrade, ran the install program and promptly crashed my computer.  Ironic, eh?  The following morning, hoping that a good night’s rest would cure my computer’s refusal to boot up, I switched on the power.


It was at that moment I realized it wasn’t going to be a good day.

My mind started racing backwards…what did I do?

  • Downloaded and installed anti-virus software
  • Installed a new 10/100 ethernet switch
  • Installed a new uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
  • Installed and configured a new video card
  • Installation and configured dual monitors

After determining my internal power supply and hard drive were OK it had to be a software conflict.   Rather than spend too many hours trying to figure out what the conflict was I took my machine to the local shop for repairs.  Rather than work off a small notebook computer I decided to configure a hot spare to work from ( I just happened to have an old Windows machine in the house).  So ultimately my solution to my computer crash was to configure and hook up another computer.

Can your remote underwriters do this?  If your company uses remotes and you are the manager responsible for their production, what does your remote technology support plan look like?  Do you have a remote tech support plan? Does your IT area have a remote support plan?

I am still working off my hot spare five days after my initial crash.  When I picked up my main box, disconnected the spare, reconnected my main, and powered up it still didn’t boot up.  I took it back to the shop and I await its return.

But I can work.