There’s a winter snow storm coming for over a dozen states and if it actually delivers on the weather that is being forecast many of our readers are in for a period of isolation and possibly a lack of power or internet connectivity. Thankfully you can take a few steps right now to prepare yourself for the impending snowstorm so that you and your family are well prepared.
First and foremost you should make sure you have a good amount of food and if possible a way to keep warm if the power goes out. Popular options for keeping warm include space heaters that are powered by fuel rather than electricity and the fireplace. Unfortunately if you don’t have either of these you may have trouble finding them now since many stores are already sold out.
Another option is a small generator which can be used to power the essentials while you wait for power to return. Again these may be hard to find in the heart of the storm areas, but try your local hardware stores and rental locations if you can’t find one anywhere else. Milo.com is a good tool to use for finding local stores with stock left, but be prepared to call to verify that they have it in stock before you venture out.
As far as keeping your electronics charged so that you can track the storm on your phone, ipad or laptop you have a few options. If possible look for an extended battery for your phone or laptop. You can also get a USB cable to charge your phone from your laptop in case your local power is out and you need to top up. You can also get a power inverter which plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and allows you to charge your laptop or phone with a regular power adapter.
If you don’t have a battery powered radio, or a gadget with one built in you should pick one up so that you can stay abreast of local news and weather information.
We recommend getting your items all charged up right now while you can, but also to make sure they are plugged into a surge protector so that they don’t get damaged by any surges or other electrical issues.
As far as keeping you and your family entertained, make sure that you have all of your favorite movies and games downloaded now in case you lose internet access. That means grabbing the DVDs, hitting up your local Redbox or video store and downloading some movies from iTunes rather than trying to stream Netflix and Hulu.
If you need to get online and the power and Internet have gone out you can use a MiFi device if you have one, or if you have a smartphone you may be able to plug it in and tether or turn it into a wireless hotspot to share your connection with the rest of your house.
The tethering or hotspot features are commonly found on Android phones from Verizon. You’ll have to call in and pay an extra fee for this ability, but you can cancel that portion of your plan after the next month if need be. There are ways of getting this for free by rooting your Android phone or by jailbreaking your iphone, but these aren’t the best steps to take the day before a snow storm unless you know what you are doing.
What do you do to keep connected and entertained when a storm is approaching?