No Internet connection.
These are some of the reasons why your Filipino virtual assistant won’t be able to report for work during the months from July to October.
And they’re not lying.
The Philippines, being a tropical country in the Typhoon belt, gets ravaged by at least six storms a year. And each year, the storms are getting stronger and stronger due to climactic changes that affect the whole world.
In the wake of Typhoon Gener
As I am writing this post, I could still feel the the force of Typhoon Gener outside. The winds are howling and it’s raining heavily. I’m actually thinking about packing some of our stuff and sending it to my aunt for temporary storage because the water level in our area has risen alarmingly in the last seven days. You see, Laguna de Bay is just meters away from our house. We might have to “evacuate” if the rains don’t stop soon.
And I am not alone in this. Many virtual assistants I know live near bodies of water that behave unpredictably during a stormy weather. Even if I didn’t, they’d still have to contend with power outages and Internet connectivity problems. That’s why it’s important that you and your Filipino VA have some sort of agreement on how things should proceed in case a disaster, whether natural or man-made, happens. But the most important would be to:
Establish an alternative communication channel.
I and my clients rely heavily on email communications more than anything. In case of sudden power interruptions and Internet connectivity problems, I use instant messaging to let my clients know what’s happening. You can also use Facebook, Twitter or other social networks for this purpose. This option is actually easy for those with smart phones. For people like me who don’t have a smart phone, an SMS to your client will also work. The important thing here is that you let your client/employer know that you won’t be able to do work for the meantime because of things you can’t control.
Now, updating your client/employer may be a little more difficult if there’s a flood. Your gadgets may have been the first casualty of such a calamity as what happened to my desktop years ago. Or, you’re just not thinking about work anymore. When the water gets inside your house, your mind is on far more important things like getting to a safe location and saving as many of your belongings as you can. In such cases, my advice is to find a way to get a word to your clients that you’re hit by the flood as soon as possible.
When the commotion has died down and you’ve had a chance to breath, explore different options available to you. Your neighbors may have a laptop or smart phone you can use. If you have access to a landline, you can get in touch with a trusted friend, relative, or co-worker and have them access your email to set the vacation autoresponder on so that anyone who will email you will be notified why you can’t respond immediately.
A disaster need not result in a disastrous end for you and your Filipino virtual assistant. Click to tweet.
The extra mile
When Typhoon Ondoy hit in 2009, a flash flood devastated our area. When one of my clients heard in the news that our town was flooded, she called me to check up on me and my family. Another client, my very first one, even loaned me money so I can buy a new desktop for work. I paid him back with my VA services.
Now, I am not saying that you send extra money to your VA. My point is for you to show that you care about what happens to your VA and her family during this disastrous time. Trust me, when you do that, then you will have a Filipino virtual assistant to support you for life.