NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Let's give it up to the legitimate heroes of the Fukushima nuclear complex.Though reports conflict, it appears that the dauntless nuclear engineers who remained in the crippled plant -- at what must be staggering personal cost -- somehow got power restored to the tsunami-clobbered facility in northern Japan. Because of their courage, the rest of us can take a deep breath and relax, if just a bit. To me, anyway, the proper way to honor these heroes is to look around and see what we all can do to make our own small-business lives safer. Here are some things to do now to get ready for the worst kind of later: What in doubt, text it out.
Our cell phone networks may be a national disgrace -- wonky, slow and a royal pain to use at times. But one thing they ain't is breakable. The digital cell communication standard at the heart of much cell traffic is specifically designed to function in a disaster. No matter what -- flood, attack, hurricane, whatever -- the text-messaging function on your cell phone will work as long as there is electricity and standing cell phone towers. Yes, your messages will move slowly. No, you won't be able to make voice calls. But if you have power and a phone, and your buddy has power and a phone, voila, through the magic of text messaging you are a team. So be smart: Get the numbers of everyone you need to communicate with in case of an emergency and make sure you know how to communicate via text message. For extra credit, you can practice sending emergency messages, even arrange a meeting point and evac plan. Either way, texting in an emergency to a pre-established group is the single smartest thing you and your team can do when things go south.
As much as our dark imaginations lead us to conjure that our world will devolve into some sort of Cormac McCarthy post-apocalyptic cannibal-fest, sometimes it just comes down to having to step away from your business for a while until a crisis passes. Fire. Earthquake. Flood. Whatever it is, you want to step away with the confidence your information -- and therefore your business and livelihood -- is safe until you get back. I, and many of my geek friends, have been impressed with what Auburn, Calif.-based ioSafe is doing with its fireproof and waterproof external hard drives. This $230 unit is essentially indestructible, fast and big enough to save all your work. Quite simply, there is no reason not to have one.
Now that you know you can communicate and keep your company information protected, the next step is being able to see when the lights go out. Black Diamond ( BDE) is shipping a ridiculously bright Storm headlamp for $50. It shines for up to 200 hours and weighs less than 4 ounces. Just toss it in your bag, where it will serve a million duties. But if that is not high-tech enough for you -- and if you simply must have the best -- military lighting provider LazerBrite offers a full line of way cool emergency lights. These suckers emit chemical glows, create a bright, full-up LED beam and emit multiple colors perfect for signaling. For $30 each you can see all night -- for many nights -- and be sure you get seen by rescue personal. Which is exactly what you want. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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