Search Results for: working in a rv

Mixing business with pleasure: Working in an RV

NCRA member Lisa Johnston, RMR, CRR, CRC, casts off ties in Melbourne, Fla., every year to travel across the United States with her husband. Rather than forgo her usual work
as a broadcast and CART captioner, she set herself up to caption from wherever she and her husband parked the RV. Mixing business with pleasure was just right for the two of them.

Johnston spoke to JCR Contributing Editor Deanna Baker, FAPR, RMR, about the journey and all the stops in between.

BAKER | How long was the planning process to make sure you had all the work equipment you needed, as well as possible back-ups?

JOHNSTON | I packed all my equipment as if I were going to an event to work onsite. I have two laptops, two writers, two realtime cables, headphones, etc. Over the years, I have developed a checklist to make sure I have everything before I leave. I also bring the huge notebook of prep I have accumulated over the years. I travel a lot with work, and so, by now, I know what I need.

BAKER | Did you forget anything or wish you had brought something?

JOHNSTON | No, I haven’t forgotten anything yet — hopefully, I won’t ever forget something! I’m not too proud to admit that I now and will always use a checklist to make sure I have everything I need.

BAKER | Was all of your work strictly through the internet, sending data as well as audio?

JOHNSTON | I do remote CART captioning while traveling in our RV using the internet. I have two wireless routers that act as mobile WiFi hotspots, one with Verizon and one with AT&T; and both work really well. In certain parts of the country, one wireless provider may give me a stronger signal than the other, so I use what I feel gives me the most internet strength at that location.

I get my audio by dialing in using my cell phone. I have also used Skype for audio in the past as well. That can be iffy at times, so I always do some testing before an event starts.

BAKER | Any glitches along the way?

JOHNSTON | When I first started this journey of traveling on the road and CART captioning, before there were cell towers everywhere, I had to take my wireless hotspot and check the strength where the RV was “docked,” and if I had bad reception, I would get in my car and drive and see where the strongest service was. Many times, I’ve had to write on my machine, with the laptop on the seat next to me in the back seat of my car (we have a car we bring on our trips, which we tow behind our RV). I’ve been in Nowhere, U.S.A., in some unique locations sitting in my car taking down an assignment! Fun times!

Cell towers are the norm nowadays, so I don’t have to necessarily always be in a “big city” like I used to be to find a strong internet signal strength. I now can get good internet service most anywhere, thank goodness!

BAKER | Are your clients aware of your traveling, or has it been that they haven’t noticed a difference at all?

JOHNSTON | I strive to provide my clients with seamless captioning services and have been able to do so successfully for many years. As long as they are receiving the product they need, they are happy. I provide only CART captioning while on the road; no broadcast captioning which may use a landline and encoders.

I hope my reputation speaks for itself. If I am requested to support someone who needs communication access, I will go out of my way to accommodate. I have been in this profession for 34 years now, I love what I do every single day, and I hope that shows. If I can leave a person or situation and they have a smile on their face, then I’m happy and I’ve done my job successfully!

BAKER | I’m “assuming” your husband was not driving at the time you were working?

JOHNSTON | No way do I work while my husband is driving down the road. First off, it’s not very comfortable doing it that way for me, as not all roads in the U.S. are nice terrain and can get very bouncy and unstable. So, if we’re driving to a destination and I need to stop to take a job, we will pull into a rest area or at a truck stop/gas station and that works well for me. My husband is my fabulous support staff!

BAKER | Was there a particular goal for your travels?

JOHNSTON | We have no goals in our yearly travels. One year we head northeast to Maine, with many stops along the way, and the next year we head somewhere west (last year was Washington state; most years to California) with many stops along the way. We’ve been from one end of Canada to the other. We’ve been to all 50 states, and 49 traveling in our RV. Maine is one of our favorite states, so every other year we enjoy traveling up Maine’s coast and enjoying some lobster!

BAKER | Anything unexpected pop up that you didn’t plan on?

JOHNSTON | Nothing unexpected comes to mind right now. Pre-planning pays off!

BAKER | How many other colleagues were you able to visit on your travels?

JOHNSTON | In our travels across the beautiful United States, I try to reach out to some dear friends and colleagues when I know I will be nearby. In Flagstaff, Ariz., I had dinner with you and Lori Yeager Stavropoulos, RPR, CRR, CRC, and their spouses; in Mobile, Ala., spending time with Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, and Elliot Carter was such a treat and highlight; in Seattle, I just missed seeing Darlene Pickard, RDR, CRR, CRC, as she was out of state the week I was there. And I keep promising Toni Christy, RPR, CRR, CRC, that we will make a trip to the San Diego area soon! Such good friends that I love seeing!

BAKER | Would you recommend this as a way to travel and work at the same time?

JOHNSTON | For me, this is the best of both worlds. I work a lot with clients who have meetings throughout the week. That is all I want to cover while I’m traveling, so while traveling on the road, I choose to work 2-3 days a week, which is perfect, because I can cover their meetings and yet still “play” and explore the areas my husband and I visit.

I choose to keep my workload light and not be constantly working, because I enjoy my time off sightseeing where we are traveling. We usually stay in a location a few days, so in that timeframe, we like to play tourists and see what the area has to show us, so I don’t want to always be inside working. But I love the flexibility to do what I want and work when I want!

BAKER | What have you seen on your travels that really stuck out for you?

JOHNSTON | We’d both always wanted to see Mount Rushmore, and the first time was such a treat. We love going to the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Living an hour from Walt Disney World, I’d always wanted to see Disneyland in California, and that was fun to go to. Growing up in Florida with no seasons really, it’s been a treat for us to see the beauty of the United States. Fall is our favorite time to travel; seeing the leaves change their colors is breathtaking!

BAKER | Anything else you’d like to pass along to the readers?

JOHNSTON | My husband and I have been RV travelers for 15 years now and love every single minute of our adventures. Come join me! The United States is a great place to call your office!

NCRA, TCRA, and TEXDRA working to assist members affected by Hurricane Harvey

A green steno machine and "TX" in white letters are imposed over the state of Texas in black

Image from the Reporters Helping Reporters GoFundMe campaign

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Harvey took its toll on Houston, Texas, and surrounding communities. Although the rains may be over, the devastation and cleanup is expected to remain a long-term issue. NCRA, the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA), and the Texas Deposition Reporters Association (TEXDRA) want those affected to know that the organizations are already working to help.

In an effort to help ensure that member services are not interrupted during this difficult time, NCRA will offer flexible financing for dues and extensions on CEU requirements needed by those immediately affected by Harvey.

In coming weeks, NCRA staff will also begin following up on members in areas affected by the storm to offer additional support and resources. Members needing assistance can also reach out directly to NCRA by emailing msic@ncra.org or calling 800-272-6272.

NCRA is also encouraging individuals or firms to support relief efforts by donating funds to Reporters Helping Reporters, a GoFundMe campaign established by TCRA that will provide aid to members affected financially. To date, the site has surpassed its $10,000 financial aid goal.

NCRA also encourages individuals who want to donate used equipment or individuals affected by the hurricane who need equipment to visit the TEXDRA website for donation and request checklists and forms. Gift cards can also be donated via the TEXDRA website for distribution to members in need. Other links on the website include TCRA’s GoFundMe page, information about volunteer opportunities through the Red Cross, and tips on what to do next in the event of a disaster written by NCRA member Kelly Hanna, RMR, CRR, CMRS, a reporter and agency owner in Houston who has been flooded twice before. There is also information on how to donate to the Red Cross and the United Way Relief Fund.

“NCRA is not just your professional association. NCRA is your professional family. We want everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey to know that we are here to help you in any way we can,” said NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, a court reporter and firm owner from Wausau, Wis. “Your NCRA and NCRF Board members and their staffs are holding good thoughts for you and your families and friends as you work through these trying times.








NCRF recognizes Mervin Vaughn with altruism award

NCRF Chair Tami Smith presents 2019 Altruism Award to recipient Mervin Vaungh
NCRF Chair Tami Smith presents 2019 Altruism Award to recipient Mervin Vaughn

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) presented the 2019 Santo J. Aurelio Award to Mervin E. Vaughn, RPR, from Runnels, Iowa. The announcement was made at a special Awards Luncheon held at NCRA’s Convention & Expo Aug. 15-18, in Denver, Colo.

The Aurelio Award is given to a working court reporter with more than 25 years of experience who has given back to the profession and to the court reporting community with no expectation of any reward. 

Vaughn has worked as a freelance and an official court reporter and currently serves as president of Huney-Vaughn Court Reporters in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated in 1965 from the American Institute of Business in Des Moines before serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968.

He has been a long-time supporter of NCRF and has served in numerous volunteer positions for NCRA at the national level. He is a lifetime retired member and holds the nationally recognized professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). At the state level, his volunteer service to the Iowa Court Reporters Association (ICRA) spans more than 50 years.

He has also been a long-time advocate for young reporters entering the profession and is known for hosting student interns or recruiting working court reporters to attend marketing events for a local court reporting school. 

For his military service, Vaughn was awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal for “distinguishing themselves by exceptionally meritorious service in support of allied counterinsurgency operations in the Republic of Vietnam.”

His community involvement has included volunteering for a local non-profit that assists families with a child or an adult impacted by Down Syndrome and has served for more than 20 years in various positions to support his local church.

His selflessness when giving back to others has clearly been recognized by such acts as having a scholarship established in his name, which support students entering a trade school. He has also received letters of recommendations from judges, attorneys, instructors, former students, friends, and family, for having this honor bestowed on him.

In the words of one of his children: “My dad has given his whole life to his career and strongly believes in helping others. From leaving his fiancée to go serve his country, to encouraging any student he counters, he has always put court reporting as his top priority. He has done so while rebuilding his company after a devastating fire and saying goodbye to his best friend and business partner. He’s the only person who encouraged me to pursue my CLVS and the reason we are planning our own VHP day, because he saw a need for our community.”

Six strategies for event networking

By Megan Rogers

In-person events, such as local happy hours, state association seminars, and the NCRA Convention & Expo, are often advertised as great places to network. This is true, but only with some strategizing to intentionally build the right network for you.

It’s often easier to think of networking as relationship building. Here are six steps for strengthening and building new business relationships at events.

  1. Have a goal. Think about the specific contacts you want to find at this event. Are you a new professional looking for work? A firm owner looking for new freelancers? Maybe you’re facing a particular challenge and want to meet others who have dealt with the same issue. Having a goal gives you more focus in seeking out contacts, asking helpful questions, and following up after the event.

  2. Gather your resources. If you don’t already have them, print business cards. Places like Vistaprint or Mint are quick and inexpensive. Mine have my name, job, and contact info (email, website, and professional social media links). Some people also have their photo on their card.

    If you’re an introvert (like me) and talking to strangers makes you nervous, write down some conversation starters. Some go-to convention questions can be: “What did you think of the keynote?” or “What session are you planning to go to next?” Ask about their job: “What’s an interesting assignment you recently had?” or “What is your favorite thing about being a court reporter/captioner/legal videographer?” Brainstorm open-ended questions related to your goal.

  3. Contact people before the event. Events are an opportunity to reconnect with people you’ve intended to keep in touch with or want to get to know better. Call or email people in the field that you already know to ask if they’ll also be attending. If there’s someone you especially hope to see, suggest getting together during the event, such as getting breakfast.

    If the event has an attendee list or app, use that to contact people you want to meet ahead of time, perhaps including why: “I read your JCR article about doing pro bono work, and I’d like to talk about getting started” or “I see you’re in Florida — I’m moving there and want to learn more about the area.”

  4. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s OK to talk to people you already know, but growing your network requires talking to new people. Sit with a stranger during the Awards Luncheon and introduce yourself (or sit at a mostly empty table — people will come to you). At a reception, find a group that includes friends and strangers so that you can be introduced. After a session, share a follow-up question or comment with a presenter.

    Conversations don’t always have to be about business; sometimes the best connections come from conversations that have nothing to do with work because they’re the most organic and genuine. Regardless, exchange business cards afterwards and write a quick note on theirs about the conversation (or find them on social media right away).

  5. Share your knowledge. People will come to you if you’re a recognizable source of information. Some of this needs to be arranged ahead of time (e.g., being published in industry publications like the JCR or becoming an event speaker), but you can also do it on-site by sharing takeaways, photos, etc., on social media. Twitter is the most event-friendly platform, but you can use others. Other professionals at the event (and some still at home) will see your name come up a lot and might interact with your posts or connect with you (don’t forget to do the same). If you’re a speaker, that ribbon on your nametag is an instant conversation starter because people will ask what you’re presenting. I also love introducing people to each other — networking is reciprocal!

  6. Follow up with contacts. After the event, following up is the key to turning someone into “that person I met once” to “the person I now work with or get advice from.” Contact everyone you talked to with a brief message, including a new question or comment about your conversation (this is where those notes on business cards are helpful). I aim to email people within a week of the event, but it’s better to reach out later than not at all. You can keep using an attendee list or app after the event, even for people you didn’t meet but wanted to (if it’s not obvious, mention that you both attended the same event). Then, develop a system to keep in touch. Interact with their posts on social media and email them every 2–3 months.

Networking takes time before, during, and after the event, but the more that people remember you, the stronger your relationships will be.

Megan Rogers is a freelance journalist and proofreader. She can be reached through her website, meganstolzeditorial.com.

Survey says: NCRA 2019 Business Summit inspiring and awesome

Jackie  Burrell, Fort Myers, Fla., Christine Bradshaw, Ocala, Fla., Debbie Dibble, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Dave Wenhold, NCRA Interim Executive Director & CEO at the 2019 Business Summit.

NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit held Feb. 1-3 in San Diego, Calif., attracted more than 170 attendees representing firms of all sizes from across the country and abroad and, as promised, delivered cutting-edge content and valuable takeaways for everyone.

Formerly called the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, this year’s event was positioned to provide new and inspiring sessions designed to deliver the latest in business trends for success.

“The NCRA Business Summit set the stage for an exceptional year ahead!” wrote one attendee in a follow-up survey. “The integration of knowledge, support, and connection was awesome! An investment that will continue to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. Thank you, NCRA.”

Dr. Wendy Patrick leads a session on
“How to Effectively Communicate with Difficult People.”

Highlights of the 2019 Business Summit included ample networking opportunities, a discussion about trends in the industry by a panel of experts, a lesson on how to use storytelling as an influencer, and a keynote session focused on how simple shifts in everyday routines and mindsets can have a positive impact on leadership.

Other sessions included a look at the importance of community engagement and how to deal with difficult people. In addition, attendees watched a special Veterans History Project live interview that captured the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.) Froman served 31 years in the U.S. Navy and was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget.

The VHP panel included videographer Jennifer Eastman, San Diego, Calif., Jan Ballman, Minneapolis, Minn., Rosalie Kramm, San Diego, Calif., Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, and court reporter Tricia Rosate, San Diego, Calif.

“This year’s event inspired me to continue my leadership training through education,” said Jeri Kusar, RPR, CEO of Kusar Legal Service in Los Angeles, Calif. “It confirmed that my company was on the right path. I left renewed and regenerated with a clearer vision for the future.”

NCRA member Cheryl Mangio, RMR, CRR, CMRA, a freelance court reporter and agency owner from Seattle, Wash., said she found the session “Tough Love Part 2extremely valuable. It was led by past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas.

“I was really interested in Mike Miller’s talk because he is credible, and he didn’t hold back,” said Mangio. “I knew he would tell it like he sees it. It was awesome! In my opinion, he was right on. Overall, things are changing, and we need to evolve and adapt.”

2019 Business Summit opening reception

“I have always attended [the] Firm Owner’s [conference] and so naturally wanted to attend the Business Summit – I always learn so much and love seeing all of my colleagues who are so dear to me. If you want to feel the pulse of the industry and learn from other firm owners and leaders, you need to attend conferences with like-minded individuals,” she added.

Get noticed, find jobs, and start networking!

Did you know that the NCRA Online Sourcebook, the premier resource for finding professional court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, scopists, and instructors, receives 900 visits per day from peers, attorneys, firm owners, academics, and paralegals?

Log in and upgrade your listing today!

Stand out with Additional, Premium, and Premium Plus listings!

Registered, Participating, and Associate members receive a complimentary Basic Listing included with their NCRA membership. These NCRA members also have three options for upgrading their NCRA Online Sourcebook listings to stand out from the crowd.

  1. Additional Basic Listing: Purchase an Additional Basic Listing to showcase other services or your other locations. ($99)
  2. Premium Listing: Upgrade your complimentary Basic Listing for a separate dedicated detail page providing additional information about you, such as company name, alternate phone number, and services offered. ($250)
  3. Premium Plus Listing: Upgrade your complimentary Basic Listing for a separate dedicated detail page providing everything in the Premium listing, plus more, such as street address, company description, company website, Google map, and forward to a f riend. ($395)

 

Additional Basic Listing
$99.00
Premium Listing
$250.00
Premium Plus Listing
$395.00
All NCRA members receive a complimentary Basic listing for their individual profile as part of their membership. Members may purchase an additional Basic listing to showcase another address or other services for that member's individual profile.

(Note: Only personal images may be used for Basic listings. Company logos can be used for upgraded Premium and Premium Plus listings only.) Please visit the FAQ section for specific details on what information is included in each Sourcebook listing.
The Premium listing upgrades your complimentary Basic listing. It provides access to a separate dedicated detail page providing additional information about you.The Premium Plus listing includes all features of the Basic and Premium Listing, plus additional information including social links, 'about me'/company description, additional contact information and more.
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Fax
• Email
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• Company name
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Alternate phone
• Fax
• Email
In More Details
• Services offered
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• Company name
• Street address
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Alternate phone
• Fax
• Email
• Website
• Google map
In More Details
• Services offered
• Company description
• Forward to a friend

NOTES: To upgrade to a Premium listing you must:

  • Upgrade your existing complimentary Basic listing; or
  • To have multiple listings, (one Basic and one Premium level listing), you must first purchase an Additional Basic Listing, and then upgrade this listing to the Premium level

Here’s how to upgrade Your Online NCRA Sourcebook listing!

1. Log in to the NCRA member portal to access your profile

2. If you have a single Basic listing, access the “My Main Profile” to update your social media profiles, your profile picture, and your Services. NOTE: Remember to “Save.”

NOTES:

  • One image is used for all of your Sourcebook listings.
  • Only certain information will display, based on your listing level. (e.g. your social media profiles will ONLY display at the Premium Plus level.)

3. Select the “My Sourcebook listings” tab to see a list of your available Sourcebook listing(s).

4. Select the pencil to the left of the listing to make edits to that specific listing.

5. Click on a listing row to access options to either purchase an Additional Basic listing, upgrade to Premium, or upgrade to Premium Plus. (The yellow background in the preview indicates which listing you are currently viewing—assuming you have multiple listings.)

 

6. Use the button link above each listing preview to either purchase an additional “basic listing” or upgrade your basic listing to the Premium or Premium Plus levels.

7. Follow the system prompts to complete the purchase/upgrade transaction.

 








Our entire community working together

By Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

NCRA President Sue Terry

The Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced that it will begin using IBM Watson Captioning, a form of automatic speech recognition, for their local television news stations. NCRA feels strongly that this decision is not in the best interests of the end consumer, and we are working diligently to do all we can to protect consumers and educate broadcasters as to the importance of quality captioning provided by a stenographic captioner.

This decision has alarmed everyone in our profession, but it is also serving as a catalyst to bring our association of professionals together to assist our deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This isn’t just about captioners and the effect that such a decision has on our work. Court reporters and captioners are not resistant to using technology to improve our lives; in fact, we are on the cutting edge of technology and are using the best platforms available to efficiently provide accurate court records and captions.

This decision is about the consumers: the millions of people in the United States who use captioning to absorb vital information, information that will now become garbled, untimely, lacking speaker designations, and often unintelligible, in addition to omitting sound effects, laughter, and music. While automatic speech recognition is evolving, it cannot match the expertise and skill of a trained and certified captioner. The deaf and hard-of-hearing community should have nothing less than full participation in programming. Using automation to disseminate vital information to millions of Americans who rely on accuracy in captioning is not only irresponsible, in our opinion, but potentially dangerous to the end users of our product: quality captioning.

NCRA’s Government Relations Department Manager, Matthew Barusch, is working with our NCRA Captioning Regulatory Policy Committee to handle this new development. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we have full confidence in their work to address this, but we still need your help. Sign our petition urging Sinclair to change course. If you are in an area with a local Sinclair television news station that has transitioned to IBM Watson, watch the news and closely critique the captions. Enlist the help of your friends and family in doing the same. If you see the captioning is inaccurate, register your formal complaint with the FCC. With your help and our entire community working together, we can make a difference.

Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, is NCRA’s 2018-2019 President. She can be reached at president@ncra.org.

 








Networking advice for students

Cuyahoga Community College’s (Parma, Ohio) Captioning and Court Reporting Club President, Todd Robie, held a “How to Network at a Conference” seminar on April 3 for all students in the program. Both on-campus and online students were invited to participate. Robie gave valuable pointers for small- to mid-sized conventions and events. As he pointed out, these are your future colleagues and people you may have the opportunity to work with or for in the future. Make it your goal to start building your network!

Here are a few tips and tricks to review and take along with you to a conference you may be attending:

  1. What’s the best thing to get out of a conference? Connections! You want them to remember you and you to remember them.
  2. Everyone expects to meet new people at a conference and to talk with them.
  3. Wear your nametag! It can be a conversation starter in itself.
  4. Remember, folks are especially receptive to students so take advantage of that while you can.
  5. Take the initiative, as that sets you apart from others right from the start.
  6. Start out in a group if you are nervous and then branch out individually.
  7. You are terrific! Keep that in mind because it takes a terrific person to take on the challenge of this career and you have a lot to add to the profession.
  8. Start by preparing and having two basic introductions in mind along with two questions to start conversations. One intro should be a quick one and the second should be two or three sentences. Good news – you can use the same ones over and over again!
  9. Remember, the goal is to turn that conversation into a networking opportunity.
  10. Check out the layout/floor plan of the convention in advance. Common areas are the best places to network.
  11. Take the time to review the schedule and circle potential networking opportunities. Most of your connections will be made outside the sessions in such places as food lines, coffee and drink stations, and breaks.
  12. Do a little research on who is attending the convention and who you would like to meet. Make a list of them.
  13. Keep a file of any business cards you receive and ask them if you can contact them with any additional questions you might have as you continue on your journey as a student.
  14. Take the time to write down what you talked about with the individuals you’ve spoken with.
  15. Of course, dress appropriately.
  16. Feel free to send the people you meet a thank-you email.
  17. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and all those you meet!
  18. So go ahead and join your state and national organizations and make your plans to attend these conventions and conferences!

Don’t miss your chance to save on 2018 Convention registration fees. Register by July 23 to save!








CAPTIONING: Seven tips for surviving tornado season

Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC

By Carol Studenmund

It’s Tornado Season 2018. Many live captioners live and work in Tornado Alley. People who live in this part of the country know where to go and what to do when the bad weather starts. We should all plan ahead and be ready to work during unstable conditions. You may not get a tornado, but you may experience severe hail or thunderstorms that could interfere with your ability to work. Here are seven things you can do to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way this time of year.

  1. The most important thing you can do is to plan ahead. Don’t wait for the sirens to go off before you figure out you need to run. And if you need to run for safety, run!
  2. Track your weather. Don’t be caught off guard by a storm that’s been headed your way for a few hours or even a few days.
  3. If your employer or the company for whom you’re captioning has a coordinator on duty, let that person know you may become indisposed due to weather as soon as you know. Give them the benefit of a heads up.
  4. If you’re working for your own clients, have an alternate captioner you can call on short notice. Let that person know you might need some help as soon as you see those radar screens lighting up on your weather channel.
  5. It takes really bad weather to knock out telephone land lines. Keep an analog phone handy for your land line, one that does not need electricity to work. Often, land lines will continue to work even if the electricity goes down or your cell phones aren’t working.
  6. Have an uninterrupted power supply on all your equipment – all of it, including digital phones and your router. Test all your equipment in advance, once a year, say, in February. Make sure you’re ready for unstable weather.
  7. Get a hotspot or mifi and keep it charged so you can stay connected to the internet in case your power goes out. Between your hotspot and your battery backup, you may be able to keep working just long enough to get someone to take your show for you.

Stay safe this year! If you plan ahead, you will be well prepared when the storms hit.

 

Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, is Owner/President of LNS Captioning in Portland, Ore. She is Co-Chair of NCRA’s Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) Certification Committee and is a member of the NCRA Nominating Committee. She can be reached at cstudenmund@LNSCaptioning.com.








Give back to the profession: Volunteer to serve on an NCRA committee

Don’t miss this chance to get involved. Each year, NCRA members dedicate their time and expertise to shape the future of the profession through committee service. You could be one of those individuals: individuals who are committed to sharing their time and talents; individuals who have specialized skills and expertise; individuals who are willing to be enthusiastic advocates for NCRA and encourage others to get involved.

NCRA currently has more than 20 committees and task forces composed of more than 175 individuals working to advance the goals of the Association and to meet the needs of the membership. NCRA succeeds only because of its member volunteers.

“Through many years of volunteer service to my professional associations, I’ve found that the time investment required is always, without exception, offset by the knowledge and friendships I’ve gained,” says President-Elect Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC. Terry is seeking volunteers for NCRA’s 2018-2019 committee appointments.

“Please consider lending your expertise and talents to help us grow and strengthen your NCRA,” Terry adds.

Not only is volunteering fun and rewarding, but volunteers meet fellow committee members, forge new professional relationships, and give back to the profession. NCRA has a committee for you whether your interests lie in governance, education, or technology.

Explore the opportunities and then sign up to volunteer at NCRA.org/committees. Some committee assignments are short-term or project-oriented. Please be specific in your interest areas. A committee assignment can’t be guaranteed for everyone, but an earnest attempt to match your background with the 2018-2019 committee needs will be made.

Please consider volunteering your time to serve your profession. Committee work is an amazingly fulfilling personal experience, and your skills and talents will greatly benefit NCRA and the profession.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit NCRA.org/committees.