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Storm Preps: The Tech Checklist

February 7, 2013 5:16 PM

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A major storm is bearing down on New England. And in a day and age where many people can’t live without their tech gadgets, the threat of power outages can be a anxiety-inducing occurrence. Whether you need to stay plugged in for work or just want to make sure your informed on all the latest news about the storm, here are some tips on how to get ready for the storm so you can stay connected, productive, and most importantly, safe.

Related: Before The Storm: Emergency Preparedness Tips

THE TECH CHECKLIST

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(File image)

• Charge Everything

With any snowstorm, there is always a chance of losing power. Take the opportunity now to charge up all of your devices—smartphones, tablets, and laptops to name a few. Also, be sure to keep them charged while your power is still on. Having these devices at your disposal is especially useful should your landline and internet service go out.

• Charging phones even after the power is out: Using the USB charging cord that comes with most phones, you can plug them into a charged laptop to charge them up. In some cases, you could squeeze out one or even two full phone charges when the laptop is turned on.

• Completely out of power? Pick up a universal USB car charger. You’ll be able to power up your smartphone or tablet for a quick call or charge. Just be sure to use this sparingly or while the car is running to avoid draining your car battery.

• Stay tuned to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and WBZ-TV for weather updates. Storms are unpredictable, so remain informed. Your radio and TV stations will provide frequent updates about the storm, as well as advice from local officials.

• Get Cash: Though not directly related to your tech gadgets, it’s a good idea to stop at the bank or an ATM for cash. Registers at stores, restaurants, and gas stations often use phone lines or the internet to process credit and debit cards. Having old-fashioned American currency on hand is a safe way to ensure you can buy what you need should the worst hit.

• Pay bills before the storm. Consider setting up an automatic payment plan to ensure that your payments are always made on time.

• Get some entertainment ready: Once you’re caught up on all the latest from the storm, perhaps you want to escape the headlines — especially if you have kids. Now is a great time to load up your phone, tablet, or laptop with your favorite movies and TV shows. Doing this before the worst weather hits is recommended, especially if you lose power or internet. You can “rent” and download movies or TV shows from services like iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play from anywhere between $1 to $10. Since these rentals are downloadable, you’ll be sure to stay entertained during any outages.

And as noted below by a commenter, you can rent movies, music, and books for FREE from your public library. (Good call, Clouds!)

Read: Before The Storm Resources

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