Getting your devices ready for the storm

With the impending 2016 blizzard in the mid-atlantic region, many of you have already stocked up on canned goods and toilet paper. But as technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives it’s a good idea to make sure your electronic devices are ready for the storm.

  • Charge your devices. Make sure your phones, tablets, Kindles, computers, and backup batteries are topped off.
  • Make sure you have your car charger handy if you have one. If you lose power for an extended period you can at least run your cell phones off of your car battery for emergency communication. Remember to run your engine a bit so that your battery doesn’t run down.
  • Download some offline entertainment. If you don’t lose power but you lose internet service, it might be a good idea to have a few movies or TV shows available for offline use. Movie rentals, video purchases, and music on iTunes can download to your local storage on computer, iPad, and iPhone, which can then be AirPlayed to Apple TV.
  • If the power goes out, disable WiFi and Bluetooth, enable low power mode.
  • If your iPhone battery dies use your MacBook as an external battery charger.
  • Remember that cell phone towers will run on backup for several days in the case of power outages.
  • Remember that texting will often be more reliable than phone calls and doesn’t strain the cellular network as much.
  • If you lose hardline internet access, be courteous of the bandwidth needs in your neighborhood. It’s not normally something you need to worry about when you have cable or DSL, but if your whole neighborhood’s internet access goes out, that could mean that the cellular network has to pick up the slack. If cellular feels slow or unreliable, be a good citizen and back off of the Netflix binge.