During the devastating hurricane this year, I learned a lot about how to survive with no power and no access to the Internet. In this post I will list a few tips that got me by almost 15 days after Sandy, the superstorm of 2012.
Batteries, Batteries, Batteries!
I can't stress enough how important it is to have batteries available in your house. Not only the kind batteries that can power a flashlight or radio, but also the ones that can charge up your electronic devices. As soon as the power goes off, you going to panic mode. You don't really know how long the powers going to be out. You think it's going to be a few hours, but as the time goes on all you can see is your cell phone battery going from top charge to barely anything left. Along with all the great USB charging devices that you can purchase, I thought of a creative way to use some old stuff lying around the house. Finding old laptop in a closet, and charge it up, as a matter fact charge every laptop you having the house to full power before a storm. Old laptops and your current laptop make great we charging devices for charges many as you can.
When your power goes out you lose all connectivity, to your devices in your home. In order to stay connected it's a good idea to have an emergency backup for Wi-Fi to use with your laptop iPad or even iPod touches. Yes, even your child's iPod touch, becomes a lifeline with all your other devices run out of power. I happen to have a MiFi card by Verizon. Its 4G but can step down in speed depending on what's available in your area. During the storm although we started off with 4G, as the devastation took place around the neighborhood, we lost some cell towers, dropping my MiFi down to 3G and eventually EDGE speeds. Another great idea is to enable the hotspot on your cell phone. Most smart phones today offer wifi hotspot capabilities, but be careful not to lose your unlimited data plans if you have one.
Look in your closets, under the beds, I'm sure you have some old school board games lying around. It's really amazing how playing a boardgame in the dark really takes away some of the stress of the storm around you. You will all start laughing and creating background noise loud enough to drown out any hurricane.
Having freshwater, is essential during a storm. Many of the large storms can sometimes knock out purification facilities and reservoirs. Stock up on bottles of water from the supermarket if possible before the storm.
During a power loss that goes on for a long period of time, you're very likely to spoil the food in your refrigerator. Before the storm fillup large gallon size Ziploc bags and freeze them. Freeze as many as you can fit in your freezer. Having some spare ice allows you to keep food fresh longer. Also that cooler you use when you go to the beach can be filled with ice and food to make it last as long as you can.
Avoid Work Stress
Try not to stress about your job or work. Most likely all the people that would be bothering you at work are also dealing with the storm themselves. Your email volume should be significantly less. If your place is at all decent it will support you and your family while you pick up the pieces after storm.