How to stay connected during Hurricane Florence and other disasters

As the storm churns toward the Carolinas, many are boarding up windows and filling sandbags. Here are some useful apps and other practices for communicating when and after it hits.

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Modern communication technology is vulnerable in a hurricane.

Power lines can be downed, and data centers could be flooded. Your cell phone could run out of juice, as some are predicting that large swaths could spend weeks without power. In Puerto Rico, hurricane victims were without power for months.

So, how can communicators who rely on technology to reach their audiences stay active in the days after a hurricane or other natural disaster?

The first step is to prep your phone.

CNN wrote:

Smartphones run through batteries fast. Without some restraint and backup plans, it could drain even faster during a storm when you’re constantly checking for updates.

Fully charge your main phone and any extra phones you have lying around in drawers. You could use them to call 911 or swap in your SIM card to do more. For backup power, charge any power packs you have, as well as laptops. In a pinch, you can charge a phone off a laptop. Make sure you also have your cords ready, including one that can plug into a car — another power source.

Many newer smartphones have some level of waterproofing, but if you’re headed out into bad weather or someplace at risk of flooding, pop it in a Ziploc bag or two.

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