Preparing your technology for a hurricane
With Hurricane Lane fast approaching, it is time to get your technology prepared for such an event. Some key areas to think about are: backups, batteries/power, and other tech tips.
Now is the time to make sure your computer backup is in place and completed. This is typically an external backup drive or your data in the cloud. If an external backup drive, do one final backup and then unhook it and put it in a safe place. If you have access to a weatherproof safe, that would be ideal. If not, placing it in a ziplock bag or some place that can avoid water damage can help protect your data. If you are required to evacuate, take your backup drive with you. If you have a mobile phone, you can back it up to your computer as well, or use the cloud service backup built into the phone. Remember the 3-2-1 rule of backing up. Data in 3 places, 2 locations, 1 offsite.
Batteries / Power
Now is the time to charge up your phones and laptops. If you have an external battery charger pack, get those charged up as well. If your car has a USB charger built in or a cigarette lighter charger, remember you can use that to charge up your device if the power goes out (just make sure it is safe to get to your car).
If the hurricane does hit, there is the potential the electricity may go out. Prior to that, you want to unplug your desktop computers to avoid any electrical damage caused by power surges. If your computer sits on the floor, you may want to put it in a higher place. Unplug any other electrical items from the floor. If your technology devices sit next to a window or door, move them to the center of the room. Again make sure they are off the ground. Cover your electronics with a plastic bag if possible to help avoid water damage. DO NOT COVER ITEMS THAT ARE PLUGGED IN!
Other Tech Tips
Go around your house and take pictures of the outside. Take wide angle pictures of each room inside. Take pictures of valuable items. This will help you recall things and have a digital record if you need to file an insurance claim. Remember backup the pictures.
Update your phone voicemail. Let friends and family know you are safe or how best to reach you. Update the voicemail daily if possible. You may not be able to field all the incoming calls with people checking on you, or you may need to shut your phone off to preserve battery power. You may not have access to email, so you may want to setup an email auto-reply as well.
Remember be prepared, be safe and be wise.