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Emergency Ready: Tech Tools to Protect You and Your Property During a Natural Disaster

These apps and devices might be an important a part of your emergency preparedness equipment. Photo: fotojog/Getty Images

Given the catastrophic climate occasions which have hit Canada not too long ago — from floods throughout British Columbia and Manitoba to tornados ripping via Ontario and Quebec; to wildfires, hurricanes, and excessive temperatures throughout a lot of the nation — our danger of getting caught up in a pure disaster is likely to be at an all-time excessive. 

That’s why “emergency preparedness” has develop into so important, to assist defend you, your loved ones, your own home (and its belongings) in opposition to any type of disaster, hazard or environmental occasion.

Through its Get Prepared useful resource website, Public Safety Canada advises that in an effort to put together for any disaster state of affairs, we must always make and observe an evacuation plan, and have an emergency equipment prepared always.

Tech can play a task right here, too, by offering useful instruments to assist in an sudden disaster. Here are some apps and devices to search for:

 

Emergency Preparedness: Apps

 

Proactively obtain these apps to your cell phone — earlier than you want them throughout a extreme climate incident. Remember, you could not have Wi-Fi or mobile service to obtain these apps throughout an occasion.

  • The Canadian Red Cross affords a First Aid app, which helps you preserve your first help abilities and reply to on a regular basis emergencies.
  • The aptly-named Disaster Alert app (and web site) from the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) affords a real-time map that exhibits energetic (or impending) incidents, deemed as “potentially hazardous to people, property, or assets,” in response to the PDC DisasterAWARE platform. This consists of drought, earthquakes, excessive temperature, flood, forest hearth, extreme storm, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. According to PDC, DisasterAWARE affords a sturdy and dependable early warning system, multi-hazard monitoring, and instruments to assist in determination making.

 

Natural Disasters
Photo: © Disaster Alert Network LLC

 

  • Speaking of maps, it’s a good suggestion to make the most of Google Maps’ offline feature, which lets you choose an space (even a whole metropolis) to obtain and consider in your smartphone within the occasion there’s no cell service or Wi-Fi.
  • While geared toward U.S. residents, the official FEMA app affords helpful emergency tips; a customizable emergency equipment guidelines; and security tips for greater than 20 sorts of disasters, together with fires, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, volcanoes and extra.

Pro tip: Don’t neglect you may name 9-1-1 out of your cell phone even when you don’t have an energetic cell plan! It will work. It’s not a foul thought to maintain an outdated and deactivated telephone in your emergency equipment or your automotive’s glove compartment — simply be certain that it’s charged up (see beneath). In the occasion you’ve got energy and Wi-Fi however no mobile protection, apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Duo, FaceTime, TextNow will allow you to make video and audio requires assist.

 

Emergency Preparedness: Gadgets

 

There are quite a few good shopper electronics merchandise that you simply would possibly contemplate together with in your emergency preparedness.

For instance, ensure you’re smartphone is waterproof. Your telephone is your lifeline throughout a significant climate incident, and so be certain that your telephone has an “IP68” ranking (“Ingress Protection”), which suggests the telephone can stand up to mud, dust and sand, and might be submerged in water for as much as half-hour. If your telephone isn’t waterproof, contemplate having a few thick Ziploc baggage as a part of your emergency equipment to seal your telephone in.

A conveyable battery booster (“power bank”) is a great thought in case you’ll be away from an AC outlet for some time or if the facility goes out in your space. Make certain these back-up batteries are additionally charged up for while you want them.

Prices begin at about $20 for a decent power bank, and take into account the upper the milliamp (mAh) the extra instances it will probably cost up a smartphone. Some have multiple USB port to plug into, in case you need to juice up two telephones concurrently or maybe a telephone and a pill or wi-fi earbuds, and so forth.

If wanted, use your automotive’s USB port or 12-volt port (“cigarette lighter”) to cost up your units within the occasion of an influence outage, however unplug them everytime you flip the automotive off, so it gained’t drain the automobile’s battery.

 

Natural Disasters
Photo: © 2022 Anker Inc./Fantasia Trading LLC

 

Anker, a number one transportable battery firm, additionally has a line of Power Station-branded batteries and accessories, which can be basically small energy turbines, usually with emergency lighting and elective solar-powered attachments, that may cost up or run just about any system (together with energy lights, laptops, CPAP machines, small home equipment, and medical tools)  throughout an emergency. They’re additionally preferrred for individuals who reside in a rental or house, the place a gasoline generator is just not an possibility. 

The Anker 521 Portable Power Station ($249.99), for instance, affords two 3-prong AC retailers, a automotive socket, and a number of USB ports.

Another prudent product is the MotoMaster Eliminator 1000A Booster Pack with Air Compressor ($132), a Canadian Tire unique that may jump-start your automotive’s useless battery within the occasion of an emergency, an built-in air compressor to inflate a flat tire, USB and 12-volt ports for charging units, and an LED mild.

 

Natural Disasters
Photo: © 2022 Copyright Canadian Tire Corporation

 

Finally, contemplate a hand-crank and solar-powered radio, just like the Etón FRX3+ Multi-Powered Weather Alert Radio ($79.99), which options an AM/FM (digital radio), all 7 NOAA (and Environment Canada) climate bands, and an alert operate that broadcasts emergency climate alerts. The hand turbine and small photo voltaic panel retains it charged throughout emergencies, plus it takes batteries. The FRX3+ additionally homes a USB port to cost a smartphone, LED flashlight, emergency pink LED flashing beacon, alarm clock, headphone jack, and extra.

 

Natural Disasters
Photo: © 2022, Etón Canada.

 

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