Confessions Of A Digital Nomad: Natural Disasters And How To Prepare For Unexpected Remote Work

Confessions of a Digital Nomad: Natural Disasters and How to Prepare for Unexpected Remote Work

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard about the powerful and devastating hurricanes that came into the Caribbean, Texas, and Florida last month.

There were fatalities and injuries. There was flooding; houses were lost. Power was out. Wifi was down. Cell phone service was sketchy. The consequences and damages were vast, for individuals, families, and businesses.

So, how do you handle a situation like this?

First off and most importantly, make sure you are safe!

When a hurricane is headed your way, you have 2 options. You either hunker down and ride it out, or you leave. Personally, I usually like to leave–and last month, that is exactly what I did. It was a last-minute decision; I decided to leave at 11:00 p.m. and was on the road two hours later, by 1:00 a.m.

I was fortunate to be able to leave Tampa, Florida, where my home is, and travel to safer ground in South Carolina.

Ultimately, I decided to go to my parents’ home in South Carolina, where we were able to avoid the worst of the storm.  We got rain and wind, but not nearly the amount that hit Tampa.

This made me think: what does it take to move to a new place and work effectively, with little notice or no notice?

Anytime you go to a new place, whether for business or pleasure, not much of your routine stays the same. In fact, it can be a challenge to get into the groove.

With that in mind, here is what I do when I’m heading to a new city to help ease the transition:

First, figure out your housing and where you are going to work from. I try to keep my lodging and workspace as close to each other as possible, and always near a grocery store.

Coworking spaces have helped me with having some sort of stability when traveling. Wherever you choose to work from, that place becomes your new base, and what I like about coworking spaces is that they help make a new city feel like home–albeit briefly. Which is why shared workspaces are so important to my life as a digital nomad.

Once you choose your lodging, the rest tends to falls into place. You familiarize yourself with your surroundings, you find restaurants, stores, and cool things to do.

Extra tip: make sure you talk to people. Even if you’re an introvert, try and make an effort as this can greatly enhance your experience.

And, of course, don’t forget to plan your work schedule. Having a work schedule will help you structure your day, it will give you stability, and it will allow you to better organize yourself for other types of activities.

Once you’ve gotten these bases covered, get to work! And I recommend you leave for your first day in at a new workspace earlier than usual…you never know if you’ll run into something or if you’ll find yourself wandering more than planned.  So give yourself extra time to get there.

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Once there, take time to make coffee or tea, and chat with other people.

Your experience will be the better for it.

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Take it from a ‘pro’. Anytime I visit a space to work and write about, I give myself about an hour to get situated, make my first hot drink, talk to a few people, and walk around. You need time to settle in and not rushing around can be an important way to help you feel that you are connected to a place and not just passing through.

What do you think? Have you ever needed to work and travel without much notice? What strategies did you find most useful to help the experience be as smooth as possible?