With death tolls rising on Sunday and storm’s rains still running Havoc, South Carolina Governor had no choice but to exclaim that ‘Storm has never been more dangerous’. Of course, he was talking about Hurricane Florence—the wettest tropical storm on record in the Carolinas. If you happen to be in the path of this ‘dangerous storm’, then here’s how you can use technology to keep safe!
The first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Hurricane Florence made landfall for the first time on the morning of September 14. Since then, it has wreaked havoc across its path. The warning for Hurricane Florence extends from the entire coast of North Carolina through central South Carolina. Wilmington—one of North Carolina’s most populous cities, was virtually cut off due to the storm making landfall. In some other communities, floodwaters pushed even higher as the rains flowed into rivers and rushed downstream.
Many people in North and South Carolina who were left stranded in the midst of the storm were rescued by the authorities by both air and water. Thousands of people affected by the storm remain out of their homes and they have no idea when they’ll be able to return home. The flooding will continue for the next few days at least and with this is mind, you should prepare yourself for the inevitable if you’re in the path of the storm but haven’t been hit yet.
Hurricane Florence was expected to knock out power for at least three days in some places. In other places, power could be out for weeks. Not only that, there will be damage to infrastructure and property, which will affect your daily doings in more than one way. Even if you’re not in the path of Hurricane Florence, you must keep abreast of the modern ways to stay safe during a hurricane.
Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina, Harvey, and Irma
Who can forget Hurricane Katrina—one of the most devastating storms to hit the U.S coast in recent times. At least nothing in the last ten years has reached its magnitude. The disaster forced an evacuation of an entire metropolitan area. Survivors lost everything and were displayed to different states. The storm left more than a million impacted. This was thirteen years ago. However, we don’t need to go back so far to extract valuable lessons that can serve us during the current or next storm.
Only last year, we had Hurricane Harvey and Irma—two category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the U.S in the same year. According to estimates, the two storms caused damages amounting to almost $190 billion. The good thing that came out these damages was that there were many lessons learned including the lesson that technology can be vital to staying safe and keeping track of loved ones. Following are some lessons related to technology learned from the devastation caused by the three hurricanes mentioned above.
Protect Your Hardware and Data
It is important to know that most computers and cellphones are not hurricane-proof. You’d need to keep your devices in high-quality sealable plastic bags if you are evacuating your area after the storm and want to keep your technology dry. Also, an ice chest would be a good place to store your technology if there a chance of flooding in your home.
A general rule for storms is that you should move all your valuable items, which includes the technology you value, to the highest floor of your property. Also, if you feel that doing the above is too difficult for you, then you should at least store your data to a cloud service to minimize losses.
Download Apps That Can Save the Day
There are several smartphone apps that can save the day during Hurricane Florence and other hurricanes. Just make sure you download them before the storm or flooding hits you. This is important because you don’t want to waste battery life on downloading apps when there is a power outage. Nevertheless, following are some useful apps to download for the hurricane season:
The app links up users who live nearby with the help of geolocation. This can be useful for anyone looking to connect with neighbors during an emergency.
A push-to-talk app for mobile devices and PCs, Zello redefines the walkie talkie. The app works like a walkie-talkie and allow you to send images or audio to local channels centered on emergency relief.
A messaging app, firechat can work without any cellphone signal or access to the network. This makes the app extremely useful during the storm season.
Available to iPhone users, Weather+ allows you to get the latest updates on the hurricane. With this app, you can stay on top of current weather conditions and weather for the rest of the week to come.
Available for download on iPhone, the ABC News app is a great source to get up to date information on Hurricane Florence and the damage that it has caused.
Keep Your Phone Alive
The last advice we would give you to stay safe during the Hurricane Florence with technology is keeping your phone alive during the storm. Your apps would not be of much use if you phone is dead. Charge your phone to full before the storm hits you.
Also, if the storm hits you and your power is out, keep your phone running for long by closing any apps that you’re not actively using, lowering the phone’s brightness, and putting your phone in power-saving mode. Additionally, you should get an external battery pack which doesn’t require any power to operate after its off the outlet and allows for optimal mobile charging. Moreover, it should fit comfortably in your pocket.
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by Bobby J Davidson
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