We all know what a natural disaster is. If we haven’t personally experienced one, we’ve certainly seen the damage they cause on our TV, computer and phone screens.
But I decided to look up the definition recently. Just to be sure we’re on the same page. It said, “A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth.
“Examples include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanic eruptions. As well as earthquakes, tsunamis, storms and other geologic processes.” Yep, pretty much what I thought.
But as I read through that list, it dawned on me that we’re starting summer, a season where any of them could occur at any time. Hurricane season began three weeks ago, tornadoes often form in the summer and flooding can be the result of both.
It’s just a matter of time
This leads me to believe that no matter where we live in the U.S., we’re probably likely to experience some kind of natural disaster sooner rather than later.
That’s a scary thought. But nobody ever got ready for a problem by sitting around being frightened by it. No one can keep a natural disaster from occurring but we all can prepare for one.
Previously we’ve discussed preparing for a crisis by stockpiling food and water. And having a generator ready for power outages.
Today I want to focus on ways to prepare our electronics for a natural disaster. If those electronics are in working order when we experience an emergency, it will be easier to deal with.
By the way, do you know what the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history is? I’ll let you know near the end.
Tips and tricks
Here are five tips for making sure your electronics are ready for a time when you may need them more than ever.
- Job one is figuring out which of your electronics you may need in a disaster. This will definitely include your cellphone, and should also include flashlights and a laptop or tablet. If you have to bug out, you and family members might need some diversions. So, download some movies or TV shows onto your laptop. And toss a few DVDs in your go-bag.
- Next, make sure all your devices are fully powered up. With some disasters, such as hurricanes, there is usually plenty of advance notice before people start losing their power. But with extreme weather events such as tornadoes, there is little to no notice. Keeping devices powered up is a good habit to get into. Keep spare chargers (including a car charger), batteries and a power strip in your bug-out bag.
- Your cellphone is the most important electronic device you own. It becomes even more crucial in an emergency. Learn ways to conserve your phone’s power. Most cellphones have a battery-saver mode. It disables automatic updates and notifications, which can weaken a phone battery. Also, reduce your phone’s display brightness, turn off WiFi and don’t use apps unless you have to.
- Set up a virtual meeting place. When a disaster strikes, it’s very possible you and family members will not be physically together. Once you’ve decided on a social media platform such as Facebook, form a group conversation and use it to communicate with each other regarding where you are, where you’re going, what you need and how you can help each other. This will be much more effective than trying to call each individual in your group.
- You could have all the important electronic devices you’d want in your bug-out bag, but water could make them inoperable. Pack a bunch of different-sized zip-top plastic bags to keep your cellphone, laptop and other devices in if there’s a chance they’ll get wet.
Deadliest natural disaster
As promised, here’s the deadliest natural disaster in American history. It was the Galveston, Texas Hurricane.
The September 1900 storm killed at least 6,000 people (possibly as many as 12,000). The Category 4 hurricane brought winds of 130 miles per hour.
High tides overwhelmed this low-lying coastal city, demolishing about 7,000 homes and businesses. And leaving 10,000 people homeless.
This storm was so powerful that it traveled through at least nine states and Canada before finally dissipating over the northern Atlantic Ocean a week later.
A pocket-sized power plant
We may not experience another Galveston Hurricane this year. But it’s a safe bet we’ll get hit with some natural disasters.
Keeping our electronics powered up is essential. Both for news gathering and communicating with loved ones and friends during what will be a trying time.
This is one of the reasons so many people have chosen the Patriot Power Cell for their portable power bank needs. This pocket-sized “power plant” has two USB ports. So you can charge two electronic devices at once, including your cellphone.
It features a “ruggedized” design that repels water and protects against drops. It even includes a flashlight. Its built-in solar panel allows you to charge it with the free power of the sun.
The Patriot Power Cell has become so popular that most people buy them in 4-packs. That way they can keep two at home and the others in their vehicles. Or give a couple to family members.