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26 SEP 2012

For flood sake!

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Once again the weather is taking its toll on business and not only those who are struggling to get to and from work but of course those who provide the transport in the first place and then there are those who are self-employed and have to open their doors or take their products and services to their customers to earn a living.

The biggest problem with the weather impacting on business is that there is very little you can do about it. It is difficult to assume that a situation is going to be as bad as it is until it happens and as for predicting it – well, we all try to leave that to the weatherman!

Natural disasters come in all forms and flooding is just one of them. I was surprised to see that Catterick was one of the areas that was most badly affected this time around, with many of the roads resembling rivers.

More importantly I didn’t have to rely on the news to let me know the scale of the problem – my younger cousins, family and friends were posting regular Facebook updates to actually show me almost real time what was happening. I had access to photographs from my home village, videos from the local town and then update’s every minute from those stuck in traffic trying to get home.

Another great source of information was twitter, with local journalists posting regular tweets and pictures of what was happening, as it was happening.

Although we often put social media into a box labelled ‘business’ it would be much more appropriate to place it in a box labelled ‘communication’. If it hadn’t been for my friends and family updating me about the flooding at home and the fact that I follow local news reporters on twitter then I would have had to rely on regional news online – which is fine but not as frequently updated as I would have liked during a situation like this.

When people have stopped tweeting and adding pictures and videos to Facebook perhaps we can take some time to reflect on this disaster. The clean-up process will no doubt take some time with businesses, schools and of course those who have had their homes flooded needing to go through lengthy processes with their insurance but at least we know that there will be a normal again.

It’s at times like this that we need to remember that things could be worse. It’s not easy when you have a mop in your hand but perhaps we should all take the time to think and be thankful for what we do have, rather than what we don’t.

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