When lightening strikes

When lightening strikes

Just wanted to give you a heads up as to why I didn’t post the last two mornings. This has been a pretty exciting week for me and I’ve probably beaten the odds on a couple of things. First my article on How to cure a sore throat almost instantly was picked up by Digg and Reddit early this week and ended up as the #1 story on both sites for a good day or so on Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday my house got struck by lightening, which in turn fried our television, my wireless router, and all the internal phone lines, which means I don’t have access to internet at home which makes it tough to blog.

Edit: 3/26/2007 – still no internet at home – will play electrician tonight and have something for tomorrow on my thoughts on helping our kids out on their college education.

A couple things I learned from this experience.

  • Plug Expensive things like televisions into surge protectors. Probably something not a lot of people think about, but probably a smart thing to do. Not sure if things like refrigerators and freezers have built in surge protection, but it might not be a bad idea to make sure all your big ticket items are protected.
  • Lightening is pretty powerful stuff and is pretty unpredictable. The lightening strike tripped about half of our breakers in our house as well as most of the breakers in the neighbor’s houses.
  • Just because something is plugged into a surge protector does not mean it is safe. My wireless router was plugged into a surge protector and was still fried. Funny part is the other 4 items in the surge protector survived the strike. Router must have been more sensitive to the surge.
  • Home owners insurance is better for large scale disasters. In this case I have a $500 deductible and will be hard pressed to get much over that value. I’d have been much better off if about 10 other things in my house had fried, then I could have shopped around when replacing them and helped recoup some of the cost of my deductible
  • I am an internet addict. Not having internet for the last two days has been incredibly tough for me. I’m swear I’m starting to get the shakes by not being able to keep up with my RSS feeds and blogging. At the same time its a little liberating be unplugged for a day or two (unplugged meaning I’m only on the computer for 8 hours a day at work)
  • I’m really a moron without the internet. I sort of pride myself in being able to be very knowledgeable on just about any subject at hand. Reason for this is before I do anything I spend a couple hours on the internet researching it. Example I want to find the best way to fix the wiring in my house and best way to propose my claim to the insurance company, but without the internet I’m clueless and it will probably end up costing me more money that it should have.
  • Emergency funds make incidents like this a lot more bearable. Granted you don’t necessarily have to replace everything that is lost in a situation like this (maybe a good time to decide the value of the item and whether you really need it), but having that peace of mind that you don’t have to take on more debt to recover from unexpected situations like this make it all that much more bearable. Our emergency fund is pretty light right now, but fortunately we should be able to handle this situation. Now when both of our cars break down next week, it might be a different story.

Anyway hopefully I get something figured out this weekend and will be back in the swing of things next week. If I have to I’ll run a phone cord from the outside jack through a window and into my office if I have to. I’ve never made a claim on my homeowners insurance before so I’ll probably learn a thing or two in the process and if I learn anything interesting I’ll report back.