Each year we update Technology Tips for Hurricane Season - a collection of helpful tips to keep your devices functioning in the event of a power outage during hurricane events.
Staying connected is important, and you can mitigate the effects of a power outage on connectivity if you prepare. For overall hurricane preparedness make sure to refer to 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.
- 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. The Anker brand of portable chargers is also recommended, claiming the ability to charge an iPhone 6 six times before having to be recharged.
- 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 couple of simple zip-lock storage bags can help shield devices if you are out in the elements.
- If you take a Tulane-owned asset with you when evacuating (your laptop, for example), make sure the property tag is affixed and that you have that number recorded in the cloud and/or in your office. Hurricane evacuees can be easy targets for crime and having that asset information handy can simplify the process of dealing with an unexpected loss.
Extend the battery life of your devices
- Turn off Wi Fi when not in use.
- Turn off Bluetooth.
- 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.
- Enter emergency numbers and cell numbers of co-workers that you need to keep in contact with into your cell phone ahead of time.
- 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 who 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.
- Tulane students, staff and faculty members have the option of receiving emergency notifications on your desktop or laptop through AlertUs
- 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.
Device Security on Public Networks
During a power outage or evacuation, folks are likely to visit coffeeshops or unexpected locations and use whatever internet access is available. Be aware that public wi-fi networks can make you vulnerable. Two priorities:
- Avoid using websites where attackers can capture your personal info (such as social networking sites and sites that store your credit card information.)
- Use VPN (Virtual Private Network software). By using VPN you’ll be creating a “private tunnel" that prevents attackers from intercepting your data. VPN is available for all Tulane students, faculty and staff: http://tulane.edu/tsweb/services/virtual-private-network-software.cfm
More details about safely using public wi-fi are available at http://usa.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/internet-safety/public....
- 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 NOAA weather radio to keep informed.
Follow @TulaneEmergency and @TulaneNews on Twitter, and check out http://tulane.edu/emergency/preparedness/communication_system.cfm