Digital Preparedness: 7 Tech Savvy Ways to Brace for Severe Storms

October 27, 2012 1 Comment »

Up and down the East Coast we’re bracing for Frankenstorm, a multi-day superstorm storm whose winds will stretch for miles and churn up high tides. Compared to this summer’s Derecho where we lost power for 5 days and internet for longer, we’re bracing for the worst since it’s a given that our DC Metro neighborhood will lose power.

Around here grocery stores shelves have already emptied of water, bread, and toilet paper. Batteries are hard to find. Generators may be procured but not in this immediate area. We have our emergency essentials ready but here are some of the things we’re doing to prepare for the inevitable:

We’re charging all of our digital devices. Portable gaming systems, tablets, and laptops- especially those with CD/DVD players are plugged in just in case.

We’re charging portable power supplies.  I have 2 iGo Charge Anywheres, a PowerStick, and 2 more chargers from Energizer to power our cell phones. Our cell phones are unplugged then immediately plugged back in. Just in case. I also dug out the USB cigarette lighter adapter for the car. Just in case.

We’re turning off cell phone apps that will drain the battery faster. In a storm, it’s important to conserve. I might post an update to Facebook just to let everyone know we’re ok but otherwise, I won’t be Tweeting, checking mail, or Instagramming my way through this storm.

We’re plugged in or unplugging. Plugging in to a universal power supply (UPS) with battery backup ensures that your home electronics are protected against surges in power and you have time to save the items you may be working on on your computer. For any high value items that aren’t plugged into a UPS, unplug them from the wall so they won’t get fried when the power comes back on.

We’re testing our flashlights and battery powered lights. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around, trying to replace dead batteries in flashlights when the power goes out. Knowing that everything works provides me with peace of mind that I can grab a working flashlight as soon as the power goes out.

We’re enlisting our kids. Kids who help with some of the preparation are more mentally ready for what may come. We’ve been talking about the storm, comparing it to this summer’s and how we got through it and all was ok.

We’re not freaking out. My husband and I both grew up in California where we always prepared for earthquakes with school duck and cover drills and families who had stashes of nonperishables and water waiting in the wings just in case. We’ve always been prepared but not to the extreme like in a Doomsday Preppers sort of way. And don’t click on the link unless you want to spend your day feeling hugely inadequate about being prepared for emergencies. Just trust me!

For my East Coast readers, I hope that you and your families stay safe during Frankenstorm! Now go plug in those portable power supplies, replace those batteries, and enlist your kids!

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