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Tech Tips for Hurricane Season 2014


Posted: 08/04/2014

As we approach the most active part of hurricane season, we all have to be prepared. Whether we have to evacuate, shelter in place or experience no hurricane-related activity at all, it's best to plan ahead. For overall hurricane preparedness see http://tulane.edu/emergency/preparedness/hurricane-procedure.cfm and http://emergency.tulane.edu/ and http://nola.gov/ready/. See below for our suggestions for making sure your tech devices are part of your overall hurricane preparedness routine. Staying connected is important, and you can mitigate the effects of a power outage on connectivity if you prepare.

Devices

  • Keep wireless devices charged at all times, and keep a back-up battery on hand. One technology services staff member recommends this usb battery pack. Make sure you have car-capable versions of your chargers in case of a power outage. Also, consider investing in solar-powered chargers for your electronics.
  • Keep devices dry. If you don’t have a waterproof case for your cell phones, a simple zip-lock storage bags can help shield devices if you are out in the elements.

Extend the battery life of your devices

  • Turn off Wi Fi when not in use. 
  • Dim your screen. 
  • Turn off push notifications from unnecessary apps. 
  • Don’t turn your tablet or phone on and off in an effort to preserve battery life. Your device will use more energy powering back up than by quietly napping. 

Communications

  • Enter emergency numbers into your cell phone and cell numbers of co-workers that you need to keep in contact with.
  • Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number in case of evacuation.
  • Telephones and cell phones may become inoperative. If you have less tech-savvy friends and relatives that still haven’t gotten in the habit of texting, practice with them now so that you have an alternate method of communicating (texts are sometimes delivered even when calls fail due to crowded networks).
  • Sign up for notifications to your phone at http://nola.gov/ready/. These notifications will tell you when the mayor makes official calls on mandatory evacuations, weather updates, infrastructure updates, and city service availability.

Backup

  • Make sure you back up computer hard drives regularly. Make two copies. Secure one in your office and take the other with you in the event of evacuation. Do a test recovery to make sure your backup is functional.
  • If you haven’t activated your Box Cloud Storage account, do so now, and start using it to keep copies of frequently used documents in addition to the regular backups that you create. 

Other tips

  • Do not store backup media or your laptop in your unattended vehicle.
  • In the event of electricity and internet outage, make sure you have a portable, battery-operated and NOAA weather radio to keep informed. 

Follow @TulaneEmergency and @TulaneNews on Twitter, and check out http://tulane.edu/emergency/preparedness/communication_system.cfm

Technology Services, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 -- TSNOC: 1-866-276-1428 -- help@tulane.edu