When I wrote yesterday would be not just another day , I had no idea how right I was.

Because it was not just another day.

I was literally five minutes away from heading to the Emergency Social Data Summit when a storm hit our area.

And what a storm.

The whistling wind would have put a banshee to shame.

Rain (hail?) clattered on the roof like the devil’s hooves in the middle of an Irish jig.

Trees bent as far as they could go without breaking, then spun around, over and over again, like something out of The Exorcist.

And then the power went out.

An electric line came down right at the end of our block, which was cordoned off for pretty much the entire day so that no one unwittingly electrocuted themselves.

Instead of being five minutes away from heading to #crisisdata, I ended up light years away due to a crisis of nature.

So I missed a summit on using social media during a crisis… due to a crisis.

Pretty ironic, huh?

I also missed an IABC/DC Metro event that I’d really been looking forward to.

My day was shot.

The power came back on today. So I spent my day cleaning up, getting branches hauled away, throwing away food that didn’t make it into the ice chest (and some that did) – again – you get the picture.

I’m relieved

we made it safely through the storm without having too much havoc wreaked on us.

But I’m completely and utterly disgusted

at our electric company, Pepco‘s seeming utter lack of a crisis communication plan – and its apparent cluelessness at how social media can help during a crisis – has me in awe.

Their crews on the street? Different story. Polite, patient and present.

Which is more than I can say for the organization’s communications.

It started when…

Hold on.

I’ve contacted Pepco to see if they have another side to the story, since maybe, just maybe, they’re doing utterly fabulous work on the communication front that I don’t know about.

So we’ll get to that next week.

For now, it’s just another day.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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