How to Digitally Recover from a Natural Disaster

by Robyn Johnston

Typhoons, blizzards, wildfires, and now, devastating tornadoes have the U.S. focusing on the Midwest. It seems all too often that we hear about a natural disaster occurring one after the other. There are hundreds of resources available for preparing for these types of things: packing lists, emergency evacuation plans, food conservation and more. But today, our dependence on technology and all things digital is almost as vital as food and water (sadly).

So, how do you get yourself back on the grid after a catastrophe? Follow these tips and help yourself digitally recover from any disaster:

Solar Powered Chargers
Without electricity, personal electronics like cell phones have limited air time. Purchase a solar powered cell phone charger just in case. Even if cell towers go down, at least you’ll be charged and ready to go when service is restored.

Online Password Manager
Once you’ve restored an Internet connection, the last thing you want to do is play the password guessing game on all of your important accounts. Sign-up for a password manager subscription so you can access all of your records in a pinch. Store passwords for the accounts you would need in a disaster situation like: home insurance, auto insurance, bank accounts, investments, etc.

Utilize Cloud Storage
A natural disaster could wipe out your home, that means your computer too. Backup pictures, documents and files on a cloud storage service. That way, you can access your information from anywhere even without your hardware.

Satellite Communication
Telephone and Internet are imperative to communicating with friends, family, and emergency services. Internet that runs on an underground network, like cable or fiber-optic, has the potential to be damaged during some disasters like earthquakes or tornadoes. Secure a satellite internet or satellite phone connection and you’ve got a better chance of recovering communication quickly.

Handheld GPS
Debris or danger can block roadways. You may need to find an alternate route on the fly. Invest in a handheld GPS and keep it fully charged in case of an emergency. If you can, save important destinations like hospitals, highways, and fire stations.

It seems like getting wired back in might be the last thing you would worry about in the event of a natural disaster. Safety and health are obviously the most important concerns. But without personal technology – you’ll be more stranded than you might think. Think ahead, prepare your electronics and do some digital legwork beforehand to make for a speedy recovery.

How Technology Can Help in a Disaster
Satellite Internet
Is your most valuable information at risk in an emergency?
Share passwords securely with family in an emergency