Fires, and Storms, and COVID, Oh My! How to prepare your virtual office

Prepare your Virtual Office

Fires, and Storms, and COVID, Oh My! Emergency preparedness


I would like to share what I learned over the past two years about emergency preparedness as it relates to a virtual office. We have posted once or twice about emergency preparedness.  I would like to provide a more in-depth recap of how to prepare your virtual office for whatever situation may arise.



Over the past 18 months I have personally been exposed to the following emergencies:


  1. COVID-19
  2. Wildfires (two evacuations)
  3. Power outage #1 (caused by wind and rain; complete loss of services for 4 days)
  4. Power outage #2 (caused by hail; complete loss of services for 12 days + 2 days of zero cell phone)
  5. Extreme heat (116 degrees which is unprecedented for our area)
  6. Power outage #3 (caused by extreme heat; complete loss of service for 2 days)
  7. Family illness



When you finally take a moment to give a bit of thought to how to prepare for any emergency which may affect your particular part of the planet, take note of some of the wisdom below:



I don’t think anyone could have prepared us for Coronavirus or the global situation of COVID-19.  However, since we have arrived in a new communication landscape we have learned to be prepared with masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.  I do not believe the world will ever return to a pre-COVID-19 state, hence the keen sense to be prepared for viral variants and other unknowns.

How EW prepares:  Face masks, hand sanitizer, nasal spray, be prepared for social distancing, keep a healthy body by exercising and eating the healthiest food you have access to, continue to enjoy life as best you can, seek help when you are feeling low.

Stay connected to your team, isolation can cause loneliness and mental health issues. 


Mask mandates change regularly so please keep up to date with news in your local area.

Return Of Mask Mandates: Oregon Becomes Latest State To Reimpose Rules (

London’s Mayor Says Masks Are Still Mandatory on Public Transport – The New York Times (


Prepare your Virtual Office 



You may not live in a region where a careless camper or a bolt of lightning may turn into total devastation but we do.  That being said, after living in the Pacific North West for over 40 years we have never experienced wildfires so close to home.

How EW prepares: Prepare a bug-out bag! Here is a list of what to include so you can carry on working after an evacuation.


Prepare your Virtual Office 



Four days without power during the first outage was a nuisance as well as a disruption to work.  However, 12 days without power during the second power outage was extreme, frightening and mind-boggling.  Two of the 12 days we did not even have access to mobile phones.  We were forced to drive 12 miles just to tap a cell to make phone calls, log in to email, etc.  Imagine trying to manage a global team with no mobile service……. Fortunately, at EW our team is strong and dedicated.  We would not have been able to continue to function if EVERY person had not worked cohesively to ensure our business continued to run as smoothly as possible.  Special thanks to Nicola Jesse for always going above and beyond!

How EW prepares: We are blessed to have a global team, with a virtual setup so if one of the team suffers a power outage or other emergency, we can remain functioning. We also have power packs/phone hotspots that we use if we are running remote workshops or webinars so we are not completely reliant on mains power. 




In the state of Oregon we live in a relatively mild and temperate climate.  However, this past summer we reached temperatures of a walloping 116 degrees.  Please bear in mind in a normal summer people in this region panic when the weather forecast shows a possibility of us reaching 90 degrees. Extreme heat was not something we ever thought about and were certainly not prepared for.

How EW prepares:  Take care of yourself, your family and check in on neighbors in need. Keep inside in the cool if you can. Invest in fans and cooling towers. Stay extra hydrated! If you need to shop or go out, do this early morning when temperatures are at their lowest. Rest! In extreme temperatures, you cannot function at your normal pace, work early morning then take a siesta if your schedule allows.




Families come first.   When one of your family members is ill the only focus is on doing everything you can to support them. This can be a challenge when running your own business, being part of a team, or juggling work/life balance.

How EW prepares: We have a very supportive team to whom we can reach out to. Family comes first so don’t apologize for looking after them. Communicate with your team. Make sure you have a virtual policy so your team understands the procedures and support you can give and receive.  One element of any virtual policy that is ivery mportant is the ‘Team Operating Agreement’.


If would would like to receive an editable PDF of a Team Operating Agreement you can download contact our team 



In our minds, there are only three significant emergencies to prepare for moving forward.  They are the “Big One” which is an earthquake predicted to hit Portland, Oregon any time.  We are apparently more than 75 years overdue for a major earthquake (2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami)  Alien invasions and the Zombie Apocalypse would be number 2 and 3.  You may laugh at the latter two, however, you never know.


If you need support in preparing your virtual team do get in touch with us for advice and training, we would love to help!


Always feel free to reach out to info@everythingwebinar to schedule a Coaching sessionTraining program or book a Virtual Office Audit and further explore your training options.

It would be great to connect and add you to our network so please follow us at:








About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.