Tech proof your emergency kit. We live in an uncertain world. Between earthquakes, hurricanes and flash flooding you never quite know what is going to hit us next, and that means that no matter what, we should always be prepared. The tech side of your life is something that isn’t often addressed during disaster preparedness.
The government has advised for some time that every family keep an emergency kit to hand that contains sufficient goods for the needs of the family members. What their guidelines don’t address is the highly technological and connected lives that we lead these days, and the fact that tech-proofing your emergency kit could make things drastically easier on you in the future.
The first thing to consider is your cell phone. Cell phones today may only have enough charge to last them for one day, though feature phones may last longer than smartphones. If you are going to be relying upon that phone for communication while you are out on the road trying to get to safety, you need to know that it will have charge.
In car chargers are a good option initially. For a smartphone that will normally mean having a spare cable and a USB adapter in the car, but feature phones may need a more specialist adapter. Including a spare charger in your emergency kit for all of the family’s phones should be considered. However it is also important to consider the fact that many cell phone networks may struggle under the weight of calls during an emergency, meaning that cell phones may not serve their use until later on, alerting family as to where you are.
Other devices will be less use to you on the road. Laptops and DVD players are great for the short term, but once the battery is dead you may not be able to charge them again. Your laptop may seem otherwise useless, but it can serve you well. There are many documents that you and your family may need in the future that simply cannot all be carried with you, including insurance documents, marriage licenses and other essentials. Having a scanned copy of these stored on a laptop may give you the peace of mind.
Photographs are also an important consideration, and not just digital ones. Digital photographs should always be kept backed up, preferably on an external drive that may even be stored in your emergency kit, but what about your older photographs? These may be lost in a fire or flood, or blown away in a hurricane-either way the chance of destruction is high. Scanning these photographs and storing a backup on computer will ensure future access, and allow you to print them again should the original be destroyed.
Solar powered chargers are another option, and though they are likely to be slower than charging from the mains and certainly are not likely to be your first choice for charging at home, they are good choice for carrying on the road for emergencies. There are a large number of other devices that many people have come to rely upon today, and it is important to consider what is really necessary to you in an emergency.
When you suddenly face having to evacuate your home, you don’t want to be left looking for a cell phone charger. Instead you should make sure that your emergency kit is equipped to meet all of your needs, so that you can grab it and run at short notice.