Disaster Preparedness Profile: Various Disasters

Sep 16, 2020 | Organization, Procedures

Suzanne Bird-Harris, Webmaster at All Things Admin

While most of us at All Things Admin have a disaster or two under our belts, Suzanne Bird-Harris has experienced more than her fair share.

In May 2006, she lost her home and everything in it to an electrical fire. The house needed to be rebuilt from the foundation up, and it would be October before she was finally able to move back in.


In December 2007, she was caught up in the Oklahoma ice storms, going 11 days without power and 19 without internet. “You couldn’t buy food, get gas, or money out of the ATM for the first three days,” she says. “The power grid was completely out.”

On December 24, 2009, just two years after the ice storms, Suzanne experienced Tulsa County’s first recorded blizzard. She was stranded seven miles from home with a dead phone battery, no winter coat, and an empty gas tank in her car. 

Other disasters include a tornado in May 2011, and the loss of her father in 2014 and her mother in 2018. 

Suzanne’s Disaster Takeaways

“Keep your files in the cloud so you can work from anywhere.”

“Get a rider for electronics on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.”

“Have a contact outside your geographical area who can make calls and do things for you if you’re unable.” 

“Have an emergency evacuation plan and a couple of water-tight, grab-and-go containers with valuables and irreplaceable items.”

“Have an emergency kit in your car.”

“Get a will and set up a trust.”


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. 

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