Here comes Hurricane Sandy: Charge 'em if you got 'em

OK, boys and girls on the East Cost. Listen up. Hurricane Sandy's on her way, and she's liable to make a mess of things next week. Just how bad depends on who you're reading, but regardless it's time to start getting ready. Here's how your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad can help.

  • Charge your iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
  • Spare batteries. You can't swap batteries in Apple products, but you can get external batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
  • Car charger. Get one. Get a couple, actually.
  • After the storm, text messages may work best. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. iMessage might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
  • If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.
  • While you still have power and internet access, be it on your phone or broadbad, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Photo Stream, Google+, or Dropbox to make sure those pictures get somewhere that can't be destroyed by the storm. Better to be safe than sorry in that case.
  • If you just have to use Instagram during a storm, don't use a damn filter. Folks wanna see what's happening, and filters don't help that.
  • Use apps like Evernote to help keep track of your emergency supplies.
  • Before the storm, use those gas-finder apps to track down the cheapest petrol. That won't help you with the lines, but it may save you a few bucks.
  • Apps from FEMA and the Red Cross can help you find shelters and other emergency information.

Those are but a few ways your iPhone or iPad can get you through this. Have a tip you'd like to share? Let's hear 'em in the comments! And good luck, everyone. Stay safe.

Phil Nickinson

Phil is a recovering print journalist, editor of Android Central, subtitles and street signs

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Reader comments

Here comes Hurricane Sandy: Charge 'em if you got 'em

5 Comments

The suggestion to keep charged is a great one. When at home, there's no reason I can't just leave my phone plugged in.

All good, common sense advice for anyone, anywhere. Unfortunately, these days, good sense is anything but common.

Yeah, we here in the Washington, DC area learned these lessons just before the July 4th holiday last summer, when we were hit with that crazy derecho storm. On the day after the storm, we went to Tysons Corner Mall and saw a very interesting phenomenon - every electric outlet had cell phone and laptop chargers connected to them. We are praying that the frankenstorm will not be as bad.