Still Just Another Day

August 13th, 2010 | Shonali Burke | 8 Comments

When I wrote yesterday would be not just another day , I had no idea how right I was.

Because it was not just another day.

I was literally five minutes away from heading to the Emergency Social Data Summit when a storm hit our area.

And what a storm.

The whistling wind would have put a banshee to shame.

Rain (hail?) clattered on the roof like the devil’s hooves in the middle of an Irish jig.

Trees bent as far as they could go without breaking, then spun around, over and over again, like something out of The Exorcist.

And then the power went out.

An electric line came down right at the end of our block, which was cordoned off for pretty much the entire day so that no one unwittingly electrocuted themselves.

Instead of being five minutes away from heading to #crisisdata, I ended up light years away due to a crisis of nature.

So I missed a summit on using social media during a crisis… due to a crisis.

Pretty ironic, huh?

I also missed an IABC/DC Metro event that I’d really been looking forward to.

My day was shot.

The power came back on today. So I spent my day cleaning up, getting branches hauled away, throwing away food that didn’t make it into the ice chest (and some that did) – again – you get the picture.

I’m relieved

we made it safely through the storm without having too much havoc wreaked on us.

But I’m completely and utterly disgusted

at our electric company, Pepco‘s seeming utter lack of a crisis communication plan – and its apparent cluelessness at how social media can help during a crisis – has me in awe.

Their crews on the street? Different story. Polite, patient and present.

Which is more than I can say for the organization’s communications.

It started when…

Hold on.

I’ve contacted Pepco to see if they have another side to the story, since maybe, just maybe, they’re doing utterly fabulous work on the communication front that I don’t know about.

So we’ll get to that next week.

For now, it’s just another day.

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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ha, ha :) love your descriptions! At least you weren't out in the sheets of rain in the afternoon. We were using my father's camera to see instead of the windshield, it had a much clearer picture! Did you watch the live stream of the conference?

Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

Good Gosh, Mitali, using a viewfinder instead of the windshield? That's the first I've heard of such an endeavor... but I take it you guys made it to wherever you were going safely. No, I couldn't watch the livestream... because I had no power.


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  2. […] sometimes it’s because we hate a brand/organization so much that we want to share our vituperation. […]

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