What Did We Learn?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana Last year, my first NeuerSpace post was focused on Hurricane Irene.  I asked a lot of questions in that post which you can read (or re-read) here, but the closing was, "In two weeks, will anyone even remember the storm happened?  Two months?"

As we deal with the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy, there's no question that we will remember this storm for months and years to come.  And while we are still assessing damage and many are still without power, have we learned anything?  I'd like to think so.

Here are some of my immediate takeaways from Hurricane Sandy:

- Tenants will start to pay attention to the past performance of building's infrastructure when making decisions.  Is the power reliable?  What happened during Sandy?  How long was the building down?  Does the building flood?  Many office buildings were closed for upwards of a week while some were never impacted. This will be a talking point on tours in the coming months.

- Cloud computing has an immediate place in my life.  While I use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), I use it on a limited basis.  When my office building was without power for almost a week, I was limited in my ability to work remotely because all of my electronic files were down.  Many small businesses were without email because their email server was located in their office and they had no power.

- People genuinely want to help.  This is going to get its own blog post next week, but it's heartwarming to see people out on the front lines, donating, gathering things to donate and getting it to people in need.

- People yearn for normal.  We take power, heat, internet connectivity, cable, and gas for granted.  I can't wait for things to get back to normal so I can take them for granted again.

So what did you learn?  What lessons do you think will last and what do you think will fade once the dust settles (is everyone really buying a home generator?).  Please, leave some lessons in the comments section so we can revisit this in a year and see where we stand.

I hope everyone reading this is safe, warm, and getting back to normal as soon as possible.