Inside: The Great Snow-Out

Associations Now editors share behind-the-scenes perspectives on the work that went into bringing you this month's issue.

Those of you who have lived in DC know how those of us in the Metro area react when there's a forecast of snow: We buy all the bread and milk in the grocery store, drive around in a panic, and close the schools days in advance. And normally, that's a bit of an overreaction. But this February's snowstorms—affectionately termed "Snowpocalypse" and "Snoverkill" on The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog—actually deserved the hype.

The week we were due to go to press with the March issue, the DC area received upwards of 30 inches of snow (making February 2010 the second-snowiest month on record for the DC area). The federal government closed for four days—the longest it had ever closed for snow—and most local schools closed for the full week. ASAE & The Center's offices were also closed, and even if they'd been open, most of the Associations Now team had no physical way to get to the office, between the unplowed roads and closed bus and rail systems. So we had to improvise.

Our design staff managed to get into the office during a lull between the two storms and downloaded as many files as they could. The editorial staff swapped proofs back and forth via email, and held brainstorming meetings via conference call. Our printer flexed their schedule to allow us to push our press date back. In the end, we only went to press two days late, despite losing nearly a week of in-office time.

In the process, we learned that we need to work with our IT department to make sure our designers (who work on Macintosh computers) have the same remote access as the PC users in our office. But we also learned that we can stay up and running remotely when we need to. It was great to see our team pitch in and help each other as we worked around the weather. And it felt like a reunion when we finally dug out and saw everyone in the office again.

—Lisa Junker, editor-in-chief, [email protected]