Severe Weather Preparedness in the Digital Age
Written by Alan Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:33
With the recent spate of bad weather here on the US east coast – earthquake and hurricane – I got to thinking about how to prepare for bad weather in today’s digital age. Some methods of preparedness are the same as they have always been, but with today’s technology, there is more to add to our checklists. I wanted to take a look at some things that can be done and also ask for suggestions from the readers for more tips and tricks.
Some things will never change, make sure you have have candles, batteries for flashlights, if you have a well then you will need bottled water for drinking and cooking, and a supply of food – preferably non-perishable. Some good tips I have recently received include: for well owners, set out a bucket to catch rainwater to use to flush toilets, crank up the fridge and freezer a notch or two so things will stay cold longer during outages, fill all water bottles ahead of the storm, and seal water in zip-lock bags for freezing so that it can later be used in coolers to keep things cold.
Now we move on to what to do in today’s digital world. First, shut down any computers and home theater gear that aren’t absolutely necessary. This will prevent a power surges from frying your expensive equipment. In fact, we recommend unplugging them completely. In addition, you may find the following information useful.
Earlier today, we published a quick tutorial on how edit Windows 7 power options to help preserve the batter life of your notebook computer. You can find it at Save Your Windows 7 Notebook’s Battery for the Hurricane.
I actually wrote an article for GNC about preserving the battery in your Android device. Cell connections become the most important lifeline you have during natural disasters. You can read it at Severe Weather Tip – Switch Android Settings to Save Battery.
If you have a Windows Phone 7 device, then Windows Phone Central has a similar article on preserving the battery life of your Windows Phone. You can read it at Severe Weather Tip: Turn on Battery Saver in Windows Phone Mango
In addition to these tips, we recommend that all smartphone users have a reliable weather app installed on their device, as well as a news and emergency app to get updates. For local updates, try seeing if your local TV station, newspaper, or news radio station has a Twitter account. This is frequently the best way to get up-to-the-minute news for your area.
One final tip – every smartphone platform has flashlight apps. They drain batteries if used too long, but for a quick solution they can be invaluable.