Prep Your Tech for Hurricane Season
Will you be ready when disaster strikes?
Hurricane season is here. Storms can creep up quickly and leave devastation in their wake, so you need to be ready before the first raindrops fall. You already know to make an emergency exit plan, pack a survival kit, and prep your home for the season. And you’ve signed up for AT&T, the only network that has a Disaster Response Program certified by Homeland Security. Prepare your technology in advance too, so you can stay connected with family, friends and your business during the storms.
First, collect supplies you may need during a power outage or evacuation. In addition to food, water, extra clothes, and medications, pack the following in an easy-to-carry container that you can grab when the storm hits.
- Hand crank or battery-powered radio
- Hand crank power generator for charging small electronics
- LED or traditional flashlights
- Extra batteries in a waterproof container
- Severe weather alarm
- Cell phone chargers (car chargers and/or external batteries)
- Emergency cell phone
Prepare Your Mobile Phones
Once your kit is ready, prepare your mobile phones. Create a communication plan with your family in case you get separated. Then, get everyone’s phone ready with these safeguards.
- Waterproof your devices. Invest in waterproof cases to keep your electronics safe in the event of flooding, or store them in plastic bags during the storm so they stay dry.
- Sign up for emergency alerts. Your smartphone should have an option to sign up for emergency alerts. Make sure you opt in so you get notifications right away.
- Download hurricane-related apps. The American Red Cross has a free Hurricane app where you can track storms, get alerts and more. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) releases great safety information on its app too. You may also want to consider downloading an extra flashlight app, and a battery-conservation app.
- Bookmark your city or county website on your mobile device’s internet browser. Check the site regularly through the storm for local updates and safety information.
- Save important phone numbers. Make sure that everyone has the numbers for local fire, police and emergency services saved in their phones. Other important numbers to consider saving include doctors and insurance companies.
- Charge your phone early. As the storm nears, keep all electronic devices fully charged. In case of a long power outage, have a backup power source ready. Car chargers and external batteries are both great options.
Prepare Your Business
Your home isn’t the only place you should be preparing for a hurricane. Make sure that your business is ready, too. Do the following to ensure safety and clear communication with your staff, clients and customers.
- Create a communication plan. Discuss with your employees how you will communicate with each other and customers in the event of evacuation or emergency.
- Take photos of inventory. Your camera phone can be a useful tool when preparing for hurricane season. Take photos of all expensive equipment in case you need to file an insurance claim.
- Think about your phones. Forward the office phone to your mobile device or another trusted phone to stay in contact with clients through the hurricane. Or, set a special voicemail message alerting your customers of your emergency plans.
- Unplug electrical equipment. Avoid damage from power surges by making sure that all your electrical devices are unplugged before you evacuate the office.
- Backup your important files. Store important documents, photos, contact information and anything else that could be lost on a cloud service. Also consider backing them up to a waterproof flash drive for extra security.