The easy answer is, "yes, I'm OK. Thanks for asking. Other folks, not so much."
I've been one of the lucky 60 million or so to be riding out what was Hurricane Sandy (now turning into the worst Halloween snowstorm kids in the lakes region have ever experienced) -- and I got off lucky. As did the 1,300 or so other folks who, maybe against some prevailing logic, came to suburban Washington D.C. on the weekend for the ASPPA annual conference.
We started seeing the whitecaps down the middle of the street last night. I stayed indoors and watched things on TV, and hoped that the power wouldn't go out.
Turns out we down here in Prince George's County, Md. definitely got the light end of the stick. Out on the Delaware and Jersey shores, the pictures today look positively Katrina-esque. And those of you in New York - or indirectly impacted by the first unplanned closure of the New York Stock Exchange since 9/11 - are feeling more pain. Coworkers in our New York-area offices have lost power, and the subway PATH train a block from our Hoboken office was gushing water like a scene out of a Michael Bay movie.
I see now that we got a very light dose of the amazingly powerful devastation to hit areas further north, and the coast itself.
The upside to all of this - especially when surrounded by a literally captive audience of hundreds of retirement professionals - is that the show must go on, though there's going to be some very heavy lifting when we all eventually make our way back home.
It's also been a good example of the power (and the shortfalls) of social media, which might be a lesson as part of your business use of said technology. Despite keeping a running commentary on the storm's progress (and my various coping mechanisms), about 12 hours after the fact I started getting a series of emails and texts asking how I was.
Apparently they were too busy watching TV (or enjoying normal life in non-hurricane-ravaged parts of the country) to think about the whole "hey, wait, I know someone who's out there" part of the equation.
As a result, I guess the interrelated and instantaneous electronic community we thought social media would build doesn't quite work that way all the time. You still need to make direct contacts, on occasion, to get your message across and to build those connections.
More successfully, the media (social included) efforts by national and regional leaders to encourage people to evacuate, as quickly as possible, really did seem to work. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in particular, looked like he might come and beat you up if you didn't pack up and leave when he suggested you do so. Maybe people are learning a little.
In the meantime, my thoughts go out to those who've faced major housing damage, are currently evacuated or facing the prospect of an extended period without power - and a long cleanup. It could have been much worse for us, indeed.