Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do you have an Emergency Plan already in place?

I lost a Facebook Friend yesterday.

She didn't un-friend me. She died. It's strange how her passing has saddened me, for in reality, I hardly knew her. Still, it's difficult to lose a friend... even one that you've never met face-to-face. If not for the thoughtful post from her daughter, her online friends would never have known her fate, but now we do know and today, many are mourning her passing.

Her name was Cindy, which amused me, as this is my name, too. Our friendship began as a recommendation from a friend to a friend, in order to expand our network of neighbors in our game, Frontierville.  Cindy played many of the popular Facebook games, so I am certain that her friends list was both well-populated and diverse. She was out-spoken, especially when it came to the glitches that seem to be never-ending on those games, and always kept us entertained with her commentary. As a neighbor, she quickly became a favorite of all, simply because she loved to play! She was a neighbor you could always count on to return requests, offer advice and share successes. She was always there.

In a world where so much of our time is spent online, Cindy's passing is a reminder of how many people we touch through our daily online activities. I, for one, am grateful that Cindy's daughter thought to share this private and solemn occasion with her Mother's online friends. If not, how many of us would have spent days, weeks, or months wondering where Cindy had gone?

This very scenario occurred to me long ago. At that moment, I made a list of every site that I am a member of, along with passwords, and I put this list in a secure location that only my daughter knows where to find. I know, I know... never make a written list of your passwords, but in this case I believe it is warranted, and certainly, (as long as that list is protected), beneficial. If I get sick, hospitalized, or die, my daughter is prepared, not only to inform my online friends, but to take over management of my store, my finances and my online services.

Do you have an Emergency Plan already in place?
If not, here are some important things that you may want to put on your list:
  • Online Bill Payments, especially if these are recurring automated payments, should be monitored and adjusted, if necessary.
  • Online Banking should be notified and activity watched or suspended.
  • Social Media Sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube could be updated with status.
  • Online Stores, at OLA and other sites will need to be maintained. Notify the Customer Service Department, if the situation warrants or assistance is needed.
  • Advertising Services, such as HotFrog and EveryPlaceISell may need to be amended, suspended or removed.
  • Blog Sites should be monitored for comments. You may choose to post a status update there, as well, to keep loyal followers informed.
  • Memberships should be reviewed. Sites like Photobucket often have an annual recurring fee for specific types of accounts.
Can you think of any other online things that would be important for your family to remember? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Hopefully, none of us will be needing these lists anytime soon! But being prepared in the event of an injury, an illness or an untimely death will assist your immediate family and will bring comfort and peace to the select folks that you've brought into your online circle of friends. 

Rest in Peace, Cindy... we'll miss you. ♥