The beginning of September is when hurricanes head our way. As an island resident, we need to have an evacuation plan ready for our families and pets. This article is about preparing for a hurricane and resources available to you.
Here are four things you should do to prepare your technology:
First is data protection. You need to protect your data. For most of us if we lost our phone, we would not know anybody's phone number or any of our appointments. Make sure that your phone is backed up. If you are using an iPhone be sure that iCloud backup is turned on. If you are using an Android, make sure that you have it synced to your Google account and that you know the passwords to these accounts.
Second is backup. You need to make sure that your computer is backed up. This can be done with an external drive or to the cloud. I use both. If you back up to the cloud be sure that you know the login information.
Third is power. As we all know, our devices use a lot of power. If the electricity does not work, how are you going to use your devices? When you know that a storm is coming the best thing to do is to plug all of your devices in for charging. If you plan ahead when the power goes out, you can have several options to keep you devices charged. Most of us have a spare charging device for our phones. However if you are with out power for more than two days you could have an issue. A better long term solution is a solar. There are many options for this ranging from GOAL ZERO Guide 10 Plus Recharging Kit for $54.77 to the GOAL ZERO Sherpa 100 Recharger Kit for $600. My recommendation is to get one and try it out when you are at the beach or on your boat to make sure that it works before you are caught in a storm and need it.
Fourth is communication. Before the storm arrives, your family and friends should know where you intend to be should the need arise to evacuate. They should also have phone numbers of the people around you. This form is a good guide. Even though the cell phone is not making or receiving calls, the text messaging may still work. The responses may be slow, but it has a better chance of working than a cell phone call. When you are sending messages it is best not to send pictures. Keep the communications to just a few lines at a time. "All OK. Send ice and rum".
Text people outside the area first. My brother lives in California and they have found that an earthquake will reduce texting within the affected area, but he can text me in FL and I can update everyone. Establish a point of contact outside the area and have that person be the hub for updates. You send one text to one person and they send it to everyone else.
Hopefully we will spend the rest of the hurricane season watching storms spin harmlessly in the water and not impact us on land.
Here are some helpful resources
- Preparing for Pets
- Hurricane Plan Checklist
- Evacuation and Shelters
- Portable Solar Chargers
- Ready Pinellas
If you need help with these are any other technology or security issues, please call or drop a line. (Before the storm of course).