Top Ten Tips To Prepare Your Tech For a Hurricane
When a hurricane is coming, it’s easy to get caught up in securing your home, loved ones, and property. We make sure to buy batteries, fill up the car, and board up our windows. But what about our tech? We may overlook these things, but in today’s age, we must secure these things too. After all, they store everything about our daily lives.
Tip 1: Buy a Power bank & Charge up ALL of Your Batteries
When it comes to your batteries, Top everything off. That means not just your cellphone but your smartwatches, earbuds, flashlights, and radios. It used to be that everything was powered off of batteries you could replace, but nowadays everything is rechargeable, which means we have to be extra vigilant.
Tip 2: Backup All of Your passwords
There are three ways to do this. If you use Google Chrome’s password manager, congratulations you’re already set. Google stores your password’s in the cloud. The second way is to store an Excel file on a USB drive. I would suggest encrypting the data using TrueCrypt or Bitdefender if you have it just in case you lose it. The third way (and least secure) is always to print a hard copy and keep it with you.
Tip 3: If You Use Two Factor Authentication Make Sure to Set Up a Secondary Device
This one’s important. If for any reason you don’t have access to your phone, you’ll be unable to receive text messages. If you’re unable to receive text messages, you won’t be able to access your account! Don’t fret though most services allow you to add a secondary form of contact. I would suggest setting up one that uses a cloud-based email service (like Gmail or Outlook).
Tip 4: If You Use Google Authenticator (or equivalent) Make Sure to Backup Your OAuth Codes
For text-based services, there’s hope if you lose your phone, but for us techies out there if we lose access to Authenticator because our phone dies, we’re in big trouble. That’s why it’s essential to have a hard backup of the codes.
Tip 5: Buy an Uninterruptible Power Supply
UPS systems are great, and not just for hurricanes. They protect your electronics by acting as a buffer between your power company and your sensitive electronics. They also are a battery backup, which means that you can safely shut down if your power goes out.
Tip 6: Make Sure You Have Enough Data
When the power goes out, the wired internet goes out too. The only way we can get in touch with our loved ones and stay connected is if we have access to wireless internet. Make no mistake; you will use LOTS of data when the power goes out. Make sure you have plenty of it before it happens.
Tip 7: Store Your Data In the Cloud
This is probably a no-brainer, but in this day in age, there’s no reason for you not to utilize cloud backup services. For most of us, it’s free, and the benefits are worth it. Gone are the days where if our hard drive crashed, we lost all of our data. Or if a hurricane hit our house, we lost everything. If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to a cloud-based service and backup your precious data. There are many options out there. Google Drive is easy to set up if you have a Google account. Just install the software, and a drive pops up on your computer.
Tip 8: Make Sure You Have Your Wireless Hotspot Enabled on Your Wireless Plan
Being able to set up your phone as a wireless hotspot means that you can connect all of your wireless devices to the internet; including your laptop and desktop computer. Don’t expect a super-fast connection though, because most ISPs throttle the speed.
Tip 9: Turn off Your Computer
When the hurricane hits, don’t get caught playing on your computer. It’s dangerous, and it can potentially destroy it. Here’s why; during a hurricane, lots of arcing occurs due to trees and debris touching the power lines causing all sorts of instability in the power. Your computer was not built to handle this type of energy and can damage it. The best bet is to keep the computer turned off when the wind is blowing.
Tip 10: Record Everything
If you have access to a phone and its safe enough, you need to document everything. Document the wind shearing your house, document the damage done to your roof, document everything. Your best defense against your insurance company taking advantage of you is to have a paper trail. Insurance companies are not your friend, and when hurricanes come, they are going to do everything to deny your claim. If you have proof, whether it is through pictures, video or a log; you are much better off to getting more money from your insurance company
And that’s it!
I hope you enjoyed the best way to prepare your tech from a hurricane. Remember though, your tech means nothing compared to your life or your loved ones. If you get stuck in a point where you have to choose, leave it. It’s replaceable. Stay safe out there!