With Hurricane Irene’s impending arrival, many of us are filling up the bathtubs, battening down the hatches, and digging out the candles.
If you’re going to be affected by the storm (though not in an evacuation zone of course), don’t forget about your precious technology, which can help keep you safe and connected with family and friends–plus help pass the time after you’re on the 5th hour of that Monopoly game.
Here are five ways to make sure your gadgets are storm ready.
1. Charge everything up
Plug in your smart phone, your Kindle or Nook, and your laptop and tablet now, so that they’re fully charged in case power goes out. Don’t forget to add some juice to your mobile chargers, like the Mophie Juice Pack which is particularly handy in situations like this. And consider hitting up iTunes and loading up some music, television shows, and movies on your gadgets for the kids, if you can’t handle another round of Candyland.
Another great tip — have a USB car power adapter on hand, so that you have an emergency charge source if needed.
2. Back up your data!
There’s nothing like the threat of a huge storm to give you the impetus to back up all your data — like documents, videos, and all those photos. Grab a flash drive or plug in your external hard drive and save everything. If you’ve got time, you can also use cloud sites, like Amazon Cloud Drive, or Dropbox.
3. Unplug the unnecessaries
If you’re not using a gadget or appliance, make sure it’s unplugged just in case the power does go out and there’s a surge when it goes back on. That means everything from your Wii or other gaming system, to your kitchen appliances, hair dryer, and electric toothbrushes. You can also plug into a surge protector, which will allow you to keep everything powered up while ensuring you won’t have to run out and buy a new electric razor after the storm.
4. Put the PC to sleep
When you’re not using your laptop, it’s extremely important to put it to sleep or better, shut it down, to help you save your battery power. This might not seem like a big deal if you’ve still got power, but if you lose electricity, every little bit counts; the times you hit sleep or shut down could make the difference between having your gadgets operable for much longer than you would otherwise.
5. Turn 3G off
Whether or not you have Wifi, your 3G gadgets will last much longer without your 3G activated. You’ll still be able to use your smart phones as a phone without it, which is probably the most important feature when you’re stuck in a storm. If your Wifi does go out, simply switch your 3G on to do a quick check of your email, Twitter, or Facebook, and then consider shutting it off when you’re done.
Got any other storm tips? We’d love to hear them! And if you need more activities to keep the kids occupied, we’ve got dozens of ways to turn hurricane time into indoor fun over at Cool Mom Picks.