June 25, 2018
Discover 10 technology tools to help when a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster strikes.
By: Lisa Wirthman
Although many coastal residents are still recovering from 2017’s brutal storms, it’s already time to get ready for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1. Expect this year to be tamer than 2017, but still a busier-than-average storm season, experts predict. And no matter what the forecast, it’s always important to take proper precautions. “It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season,” says Michael Bell, an associate professor on the Colorado State University’s (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project
Fortunately, there are many smart, proven, technologies that are helping to save lives and connect survivors with critical resources during hurricanes and other weather events. Here are 10 technology tools to help you stay safe when a natural disaster strikes.
It’s a good idea to store free emergency preparedness apps on your smartphone in advance of any crisis. The Red Cross has a Hurricane app to track storms that includes checklists and first aid advice, while the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) app has maps for emergency meeting locations and other important safety information. Zello is a push-to-talk walkie talkie app (like a CB radio) for person-to-person and group calls.
Wifi hotspots can provide much-needed internet connectivity if you are forced to leave your home due to a disaster. If you’re a Cox customer, click here to see how you can access one of 500,000+ hotspots nationwide. Cox customers also have access to the Contour App, where you can stream live TV channels, including local broadcasters and The Weather Channel, while on-the-go online or through the app.
Your smartphone is an essential technology tool for multitasking in any natural disaster. Set up “In Case of Emergency” or ICE contacts in advance, including local fire, police and emergency services, doctors, insurance companies and personal contacts. You can also sign up for emergency alerts to get important information and evacuation notices throughout the storm. Note: If you don’t have coverage or an active cell phone plan, you can still call or text 9-1-1 from your mobile phone.