Over here on the East Coast we have batten down the hatches and are awaiting Hurricane Sandy, AKA Frankenstorm, to arrive. But for geeks like ourselves, preparing for a big storm doesn’t just mean stocking up on water and food. There are other essentials that we need to take care of too. With that said, here are some tips for staying gadget-happy for as long as possible, for times when mother nature isn’t playing nicely.
Not everyone has a flashlight nowadays. As a matter of fact, they are going the way of stand-alone calculators and are becoming more and more scarce. Fortunately, you can easily download a free Flashlight app for iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.
Get out your battery packs out and charge them up so that you’ll be powered up, should the power go out. Don’t have any? Well, it’s never too late to prepare for next time. Some of our favorite battery packs is the MyCharge Peak 6000 and Proporta’s USB TurboCharger 7000. Both of these devices are able to charge multiple portable devices – that includes most smartphones, the iPhone, iPad, ebook readers, and just about anything powered by a microUSB charger.
Speaking of battery life, even if you don’t have an external battery pack for your gadgets, there are still ways to conserve power on your smartphone. Some universal tips for conserving battery life on a smartphone smartphone include:
• Turn off data altogether, or at least switch to Edge if possible.
• Leave your display on a low brightness setting.
• Turn off push notifications.
• Shut down any apps running in the background that are non-essential.
If the power goes out, your internet connection is most likely going to go with it. Which is why you can’t always rely on streaming services for entertainment. So make sure you have some good movie files, ebooks, and other sorts of digital entertainment available. Because remember – a girl can not live on Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu alone… not in a storm anyway.
You’re probably following the local news, radio, or the Weather Channel for updates. But if you want to really know what’s going on, check out the Emergency Radio Free app. This app is essentially a free Police Scanner. And it doesn’t just work for the area around you, but it will let you tune in to everything from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to the New York Fire Department (FDNY).