Hurricane Michael has become a Category 3 and threatens the Florida Panhandle with life-threatening hazards. It is expected to be a Category 4 when it makes landfall today. Preparations should be rushed to completion. Here are some tips on the technology you can benefit from during a hurricane.
To protect your laptops and other technology, place them in resealable plastic bags. An ice chest or large storage container is also a good place to store electronics. If you can, move them up to a high place in your home, like on top of a bookshelf. Make sure you back up all your data to a cloud service in case your devices do become damaged.
Before you lose power in your area, make sure to consider downloading these useful apps:
- Nextdoor is an app that uses geolocation to find other users nearby. This can help keep you connected with your neighbors.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency app has valuable tips on hurricane prep, emergency notifications, and lists shelters.
- The American Red Cross app is helpful in providing information on first aid.
- The National Weather Service app will give you updates on the location and intensity of the hurricane.
A radio with plenty of batteries is old-school tech, but during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, meteorologist Bryan Norcross was able to save lives as he gave continuous weather reports over the radio throughout the storm and provided information on things like how to take shelter when your roof blows off.
To keep your phone charged as long as possible, you can turn down the brightness, put your phone in power-saving mode and airplane mode. Turn off all processes not in use. It is wise to invest in a solar charger for your phone as well. Have it fully charged before the storm hits and most chargers will charge your phone two or three times. When the storm passes and the sun comes out, the solar charger can be charged again. In a pinch, you can even charge your phone off the battery in your old laptops.
Although it is good to be prepared for Hurricane Michael with tech that can help keep you connected and safe, you must also prepare for the possibility that the batteries may run down and there is no electricity for an extended period of time. Take precautions by writing down all the information you usually access by phone, like credit card or driver’s license numbers.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. When you are in the path of a hurricane or other life-threatening natural event, how do you prepare?
Q2. What is the most valuable advice you have learned about preparing for natural disasters?
Q3. What is your must-have item during a natural disaster?