Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Belt and Suspenders

It's hard to believe, but it has already been just about two months since my trip out to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the Steamboat Weather Summit. I'm still boring the heck out of my wife and kids, relaying all the awesome stories of skiing, the great food and the outstanding presentations.

I am also missing - for just a few moments - all the cold-weather gear I got to wear for even just a few days out there, battling the high altitude and cold, dry air. The nattiest I looked was the night we went to a local brewery and great restaurant as part of the bonding experience.

Belt and suspenders...
What I loved wearing was my Perry hook-on suspenders. Unlike normal suspenders that either button directly to the pants or clip the waistband, these babies hooked under my belt, giving me the belt-and-suspenders double check, ensuring my pants wouldn't fall down.

I had absolutely no idea how many times I have used that expression - belt and suspenders. I got it from watching This Old House, when Master Carpenter Norm Abram would not only fix something in the house, he would do it so well that there was no chance of a failure. Indeed, it was as if he was putting on both a belt and a set of suspenders to whatever he was fixing. 

Now, how many times do we find ourselves in trouble because we don't use the belt-and-suspenders approach to our work? Think about it. With as important as they have become in our communications world, have you thought about how you would power up your smart phone if the battery was on its last legs while you were at a scene? A car charger and wall plug would be great, but how about a portable, rechargeable power pack you could plug in to if you needed to bost your charge. I have one that not only allows me to fully recharge my phone at least once, it also has a built-in flashlight.

I have yet to use it, but I am pretty sure it may come in handy one day.

Do you have a paper copy of the local news outlets handy, just in case you can't find it online, or may not have internet access? How about a paper copy of your emergency plans, so you don't have to run down that precious battery life trying to read the document on your smart phone?

Heck, how about buying a cheap digital watch so you can simply keep the time? 

When you start to think about what steps you can take to be better prepared for working in times of crisis, you get a much deeper understanding of how you can keep functioning as the event unfolds - without being caught with your pants down. 

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