Sandy and Shelf Awareness
While Shelf Awareness's business office is in Seattle, Wash., far from Hurricane Sandy, most of our editors live on the East Coast and were in the path of Sandy. On Monday, as the storm bore down, we tried to plan on how to continue publishing but were constrained because we didn't know how each of us would be affected. Our worst-case scenario: we would have an issue set up Monday night, ready to go the next morning, and if all the editors lost power and it didn't appear by 9 a.m., newsletter and web producer Amber Elbon in the Seattle office would send it. As for the following issues, perhaps a few of us would jump in a car and drive until we found light and power.
But luckily, we fared well in the storm crapshoot. Managing editor Robin Lenz, who lives in South Orange, N.J., has had power continuously even though most of her town lost power--and still doesn't have it. (Friends have been charging devices and taking showers at her place.) Contributing editor Robert Gray, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was in the part of town that didn't lose power. Children's editor Jennifer M. Brown lives on relative high ground on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and was likewise spared. However, editor-in-chief John Mutter, who lives in Montclair, N.J., lost power at 11 p.m. Monday night--and is told it should be restored in seven to 10 days! (Luckily he has hot water, a gas stove for cooking and a small office with power for charging many devices, but he's been sidelined somewhat trying to get used to living with 18th-century technology. "My e-quill needs sharpening!")
Robert and Robin worked beyond the call of duty putting out the issues this week, making them read and look as though nothing unusual were happening. They were also responsible for our excellent coverage of the storm's effect on the business and booksellers. Many thanks!
Our Seattle colleagues sent transcontinental support and were ready to do whatever they could to help. Many thanks to them, too!
We also were fortunate in that Xtenit, which mails our newsletters and powers our website, operated without a hiccup in service. Xtenit's Brian McFadden explained: "In 2002, we switched data centers primarily because of security and disaster-related issues. During the 2003 blackout and subsequent storms, there have been no problems. We have built out our datacenter redundancy since then, should an even more significant disaster occur. Ironically many of the hosting providers having problems now are located in the same data centers we rejected in our 2002 analysis. I heard stories about data centers that had generators on their roofs, but did not plan for getting fuel to the roof."
For all of you who at home or at work or both have lost power, suffered damages, even in some cases lost homes, we send you our best wishes and hope for a quick recovery--in all ways.