Hurricane Ida is a life-threatening storm that made landfall in southeast Louisiana 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. The Category 4 hurricane has 150 mph winds, making it just shy of Category 5 strength as it batters Gulf Coast communities with heavy rain and flooding. Many residents have been evacuating to escape its path while utility companies predict power will be knocked out for days — or even weeks on end in some areas affected by this most recent disaster hitting the country’s southeastern coastlines yet again within two short decades since Hurricane Katrina first struck land there back in 2005 during August 25th.
The National Hurricane Center warns of potentially catastrophic wind damage and storm surge to the Louisiana coast. This is a fast-moving category four hurricane that has strengthened from Category 1 in less than 24 hours, making time against its favor for residents already being warned by Gov John Bel Edwards state of emergency declaration.
A survivalist’s strategy will be necessary for those in the path of Hurricane Sandy, as she may linger longer than three hours. The worst problems her debris and power lines could cause are yet to come when they extend far beyond their initial locations.
In today’s smartphone-dependent world, many rely on apps to provide all the information they need about a storm and its aftermath. In times of crisis like this one with no access to power for days at a time in dark homes without dead phone batteries, these sources go offline or become inaccessible altogether.
Before a crisis, it’s important to think about all the technology you’ll need. This includes items such as phones, lights for night time use or an LED TV so that you can stay up-to-date with news (if your antenna allows). Technology quickly becomes useless in times of emergency if people don’t plan ahead and have backups ready.
Before turning to a battery, it is important that you change your phone habits. No playing games and no scrolling through Facebook (except for getting news on the safety of loved ones). You should turn off your phone when not in use to conserve power unless needed.
Even if you have power, checking in with mom may be impossible for a while. This is because cell towers aren’t designed to handle everyone trying to use their phone at once during hurricanes like these. Hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross has seen this firsthand and now shares his storm warnings through Facebook and Twitter posts where he sees the potential complications of our phones dependence on social media accounts when disasters strike using words that are more descriptive than what was provided by the source input such as “electronic nightmare.”
There are many options available for backup battery packs. You can choose from those designed to power up your smartphone, like Anker Power Banks and Jackery Portable Power Stations; or ones that come with larger capacities so you could also use it in emergencies at home, such as Duracell’s Pro series and Black & Decker’s Station model. If money is no object, the pricier models worth considering include companies’ top-of-the line products such as Jackery Air 6K along with other similar brands on Amazon.
It’s not good to store batteries in your closet for a long time, but if you follow the manufacturer instructions and use them every so often it will be fine. It is important that they are stored in an area with low humidity because high moisture levels can reduce battery life quickly.
Good portable solar battery chargers are a great resource for camping stores, but they should be thought of as the backup to your backup. It can take up at least five hours for enough energy to charge just one phone with direct sunlight.