Tech Help for Storm Preparedness
Natural disasters occur occasionally but can be detrimental and life-threatening. A few countries and regions in the world, such as Qatar, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and many others, live in constant fear of natural disasters. And the world is increasingly facing the wrath of these natural disasters every passing year. With floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and storms hitting several regions, the overall damage is estimated to be more than $1 billion.
It’s important to stay aware and be prepared to combat any kind of foreseeable natural disaster. Of course, you can’t prevent it from occurring, but you can definitely prepare for a favorable outcome. Technology has made lives easier and is constantly making daily tasks more and more convenient. But did you ever think of using technology to be prepared for natural disasters? If you reside in a hurricane-prone area, you need to be prepared for the worst. Staying well informed, educated, aware, and prepared can help to reduce damages and prevent loss of lives, money, and resources.
To spread this awareness, we’re going to talk about how modern technology is helping with storm preparedness and how you can use it to stay safe and be prepared.
How Modern Technology Is Helping
Modern technology is increasingly helping governments and citizens to combat storms and other natural disasters in general.
Social Media Awareness
Around one billion people around the world are using social media platforms. These platforms serve as free tools to share information and text, stay connected, and consume data through several sources. Our smartphones are also useful technological tools that spread information and support interaction. A simple text from a person can help you gain information in no time. People have been using phones and social media platforms to convey important messages and help people become aware of probable natural disasters that are expected soon. You can also use texts as simple problem-solvers; you can fetch updates on possible victims and follow the amount of loss or damage that occurred post-disaster. Being informed is the first step toward safety and protection. With just the click of a button, people can find shelters nearby, avoid potential risks, and learn possible ways to stay safe during the chaos. Communication is key, which is thoroughly covered with the help of cell phones.
Simulation and Imaging
Even though they are inaccessible to the common people, technology such as imaging and simulation have helped—and will most likely keep on helping—risk managers to estimate the various aspects of an upcoming storm. Simulations help them visualize the level of damage that can occur, the areas that are most prone to damages, and the amount of coverage they can get. All this data is visualized and analyzed using various technological devices such as drones and satellites. Once you know possible factors that can emerge during and after a particular natural disaster, this information can help people be more aware and prepared for the worst.
Smartphones can provide images, photos, and videos to explain data more simply and spread it to a huge number of people. There are a lot of tools and applications available online, which produce maps of relief updates and spread them to the organizations that are helping with storm management. During the earthquake that occurred in Nepal in 2015, they used an app called MicroMappers that was introduced in 2013. Similarly, the app was also used during Typhoon Haiyan to organize relief efforts and treat the affected regions. Another similar application is Google People Finder, which was built in 2010 to help with the Haiti earthquake. It lets you search for people who might have been affected or gone missing during any disaster. Another noteworthy mention is the Red Cross Emergency App that provides disaster information, including weather updates, precautionary measures, and safety tips.
You can use such apps during times of disaster to help yourself, your family, and several other people in need within your area.
A lot of prediction technology has been invented. These provide information on the upcoming disasters and help people to be prepared for them. Organizations use radar to detect disasters such as storms and wildfires and warn the residents accordingly. These prediction tools also take help from simulation through various computer models.
What Kind of Low-Cost Tech Can Be Beneficial?
We already saw the ways technology has been helping people to forecast storms. We’ll now talk about how you can benefit from technology while you’re facing the storm.
We know how cell phones can help spread information and make people aware of the upcoming storm. However, cell phones can also keep you connected with helplines, as well as your family and friends. Whether you’re asked to evacuate or stay indoors, it’s necessary to keep in touch with people during times of disaster. That’s why it’s a good idea to fully charge your cell phones, laptops, and portable chargers as soon as you’re informed about the upcoming storm. This way, the batteries of the devices can last through the incident; just try not to use them unnecessarily, to save more power.
Battery-Powered Lamps and Compatible Rechargeable Batteries
Lamps and flashlights are other essential items that are crucial to have at hand during times of natural disaster. Since a power outage is likely to occur during this time, you’ll need lamps for lighting. It is necessary to be equipped with battery-operated or hand-crank lamps and flashlights that do not rely on electricity.
Headlamps can come in really handy during a power outage. While choosing one, make sure that it has a relatively long runtime and provides additional features such as an ultra-dim mode along with adequate brightness. More importantly, it should offer a hands-free feature to make it extremely useful during and after the storm. A signaling feature is also important to create awareness and mark safety, which is why a red or white light projection is necessary.
And while you’re buying battery-operated lamps, you need to make sure that you are also equipped with rechargeable batteries to provide additional power. Rechargeable backup batteries, specifically AAA batteries, are one of the most crucial necessities in times of disaster. These batteries will ensure that your electronic devices remain powered until everything goes back to normal.
Solar Lights and Solar Generators
Solar landscape lights can aid in exterior lighting and can also be moved indoors if charged thoroughly. If not, they can only be used when the storm has subsided, and the sun has come out again. When fully charged, these can provide you with a good amount of lighting during a power outage.
For solar lights, a solar generator can also come in handy during the crisis. Since it doesn’t need any fuel like gasoline, propane, or similar chemicals, you don’t have to worry about electricity while operating it. Solar power can be extremely useful during storms; it’s better to realize this potential in advance and invest in solar-powered devices for emergencies.
A Portable Gas Grill or Cooking Device
A cooking device is necessary to feed your family while the power is out during a storm. Trying to survive on raw food or canned meals for days—or worse, weeks—can be a huge inconvenience. Moreover, there will come a time when you’ll completely run out of pre-cooked or ready-made food. Since you don’t know how long you’ll be stranded in your house due to the storm, it’s better to stay prepared for the worst. A portable gas grill or cooking device will ensure that you will have warm, freshly cooked food at all times. It should, of course, not rely on electricity for power.
Portable Weather Radio
Since there won’t be any access to televisions due to the power outage that usually follows a storm, a portable weather radio will come to your rescue to give you real-time information and fresh updates on the storm and current scenarios. Make sure that the radio you buy can easily pick up AM or FM frequencies and is battery-operated. An in-built flashlight and a USB port will be added bonuses. You should also have enough USB cables and a power strip to charge your devices.
Devices for Water Requirements
Water is a basic necessity that cannot be compromised regardless of the situation. You need water to drink, bathe, wash things, and complete various other tasks. Certain devices like portable coolers can help in the storage of extra water, keeping it cool during blackouts. Be sure to store as much water as you can to help you get through the storm without running out.
While technology is important and can be extremely useful during these times, you should also make sure that you have access to other basic necessities such as a first aid kit, enough food, and water. If you live in a region that is highly affected by storms or other natural disasters now and again, be sure to invest in these basic technological devices to make survival easier.