As you may or may not already know, the last few weeks of my life have been pretty darn hectic. But I(/we) coped, and coped well I think.
The start of it all-
[Tuesday 23rd of July, 4am] Everybody in the house was abruptly woken up to an all mighty ‘BANG’, with a huge intense light, the flash appeared red, through our eye lids. Then the sound of falling debris, and shattering household objects, followed immediately after. Lightning, had struck the side of the house, where the telephone lines enter the property. Thousands of volts shot through the telephone/ethernet wiring around the whole house, spreading across to the main power ring mains, which resulted in almost all telephones, televisions and computers to be damaged beyond repair. Anything that was hard wired into ethernet, or mains. Was pretty much fried, or at least malfunctional.
We knew we had been hit right away, the thick grey smoke covering the upstairs landing area, and the debris of our BT Homehub Router having exploded and shot across the room, and the wall socket boxes melted, black and blown off the walls into hundreds of pieces was a good indication.
We later found out that the incident not only affected the three houses on our farm property, but also the whole village spanning up to around 3 miles away, just from our one initial strike. But we got the full grunt of it, so the technicians say.
BT Openreach came to the scene 2 days after the incident, which is incredible response time. They ran new cables all the way from where they were blown in half by the incredible voltage.
It is now Sunday, 4th of August, and we are left computer-less (Apart from laptop computers). Our insurance company is still inspecting the damage that was done to the electrical components. Everybody is just keeping their fingers crossed!
So what have I learned over these last couple of weeks?
I have learnt to live to love the people you are around the most. In this case, Ian & Pearl (From here on out referred to as E&P). We were all as scared as each other in the situation. It was delving into the unknown of; we could quick easily have lost many more belongings, the house due to fire, or even our lives. We ARE so lucky to be alive, and well!
I have also learnt that it is important to stick together in situations like these. You are all in the same boat, and you don’t know whats going to happen next, or when or why. You just have to roll with it. Let it slide and keep it cool, because there is nothing else TO DO. going crazy with anger will do you, and the people around you no good. Of course it is inevitable to be anxious and scared in situations like these, but you have to learn to work together, stick together and work things out.
Be prepared for change-
The last few weeks have rendered me out of any Media work almost entirely. I have been forced to postpone jobs that require any sort of computing grunt, as I currently don’t have an editing workstation, which is devastating in it’s self. Fortunately, we have phone lines and broadband back, but more damage is still to be prepared. But this just goes to show how much our lives revolve around computers and the internet as a whole. It’s crazy. I haven’t had a day of my life since these events, without any internet or outside communication from friends/family.
This whole series of events has been traumatic to say the least. It’s impossible to scale the grunt of the electrical surge without seeing the black burns on the carpet, and the damage that has been done to the building. Without a doubt the most scary thing that has ever happened to me in my life. And whats worse, is that it was completely out of our control. There was nothing we could have done to safely prevent ourselves/the building from getting struck by lightning. It needed to find earth, and we so happened to be the place that it could find it.
Backup your files-
Backup your files-
Backup your files-
This is so so important if you do any sort of media work/large file size data handling. I can’t tell you the feeling I got when I released my workstation was fried. Horrible sinking feeling. That it was possible for all that data to be lost. Thankfully (So thankfully), it was not, and even though I had backed all my important client data up, and it was safe (as far as I was concerned). It was still susceptible to damage/loss.
The event made me realise that I definitely need to routinely update my important client data, and store it in a safe place, away from any power/cabling/water mains. Luckily, I was able to retrieve ALL the valuable data from the hard drives within the machine, and back them up before the computer were sent off for inspection. But I know as soon as the air clears a little at home, and the insurance company sort us out. The first purchases will be hard drive hot swappable bays, a bunch of 1TB drives and some ‘Safe Case’s to store them in. As well as a UPS with extremely good surge protection.
That’s it for now. I will likely post another update in the coming weeks, with regards to how we get on with getting all of the broken appliances and components fixed (Fingers crossed).