For the second time in a year we find ourselves with out power for an exteneded period of time. Last year after escaping hurricane Irene with no issues at all in August, we lost power for a week in the crazy October snowstorm. Ironically one year later to the date hurricane Sandy blew through and knocked out our power, to be restored who knows when (Best Estimate is at least a week).
We are very lucky for a number of reasons
1. No one in our family was hurt in the storm
2. We did not suffer any any real property damage
3. We have family with power nearby we are able to go stay with
So while we are frustrated to be out of our house again, we are clearly better off than people who lost homes, property, or even loved ones in the storm. If you know a hurricane is headed your way by all means take care to prepare for the storm, put away loose items around your home, stock up on drinking water and other necessities, gas up your cars. When all the real prep is done turn your attention to the more geeky preparations, here are mine.
1. Charge up your phones, and have a plan to recharge them. On Monday when the storm was coming I kept my phone and iPad plugged in all day just so they would be topped off when the inevitable power loss came. I also have a number of batteries that can charge devices which I had plugged in and ready to go as seen here
Those are a few New Trent Devices, 2 of which can also charge iPads, and the every geeky wrist charger from ThinkGeek. While we can charge our phones in our cars, the car needs to be running, which means opening the garage door, not necessarily a good idea in a hurricane, and would also waste gas which has become a precious commodity in the days following the storm.
2. Stretch your battery life. Once the power goes out you want to get the most you can out of your batteries. Without power your Wifi is dead, turn off wifi on your devices, turn off bluetooth, lower your screen resolution, enable battery saving mode if you have one. Basically do whatever you can to get the most out of your precious battery life.
3. Text instead of calling – it is both easier in the days after a storm when phones were not working too well, and easier on your battery. (A plain old cell phone is also an excellent option if you need to make calls, I keep one around for such occasions and can route my incoming calls to it using Google Voice)
4. Load up your iPad for entertainment, sure you have Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Hulu installed, that won’t do you any good without power and wifi (or will be too expensive on your battery if you have a data plan on your iPad). I always keep my iPad loaded up with TV and Movies I can watch in a power outage. Since I am an old fashioned book reader not an e-reader I have that option too with a flashlight, but it is nice to have options.
5. Have a wifi plan – Last year when we lost power we moved in to my in-laws house for the better part of a week, sure they had heat, and power but no wifi, it took me a couple of days until I had a chance to pick up a router. Fortunately for my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece and nephews I left that router in place as they are now staying at my in-laws until they get power back. A couple of weeks ago I ordered one of these (Chris has a review of it here)to keep in my bag, it is now functioning as a repeater in my parents house giving us Wifi where we need it.
That is all I have, it is never fun to be in a hurricane or any other natural disaster, we know what is really important but after that a little geek never hurt.