Emergency Tips: Surviving Hurricane Sandy with an iPhone

As Hurricane Sandy looms over the East Coast, there is certainly an urgency for those that are about to feel the brunt of its effects (including myself in New Jersey) to become better-prepared for blackouts, emergencies, and every Sandy-originating issue in between. Smartphones are an essential part of that preparation, although many will overlook necessities that could make a major difference as Sandy hits.

We cannot stress this point enough: if power is lost for just a few days, chances are that even starting with a full charge, your iPhone/smartphone will more than likely run out of battery by the end of the very first day. It is critical to conserve its battery, so we would highly recommend to if possible, only use your device for minutes a day to check-up on family and friends then proceed to turn it off for the day. In case power remains out for a period of time, having access to your phone for minutes a day will be much more useful than hyperactive news tracking, conversations, and entertainment draining it down as the blackout begins.

However, do not continuously power your devices on and off as the process will drain more power than leaving it in a conservative sleep mode.

Even without the Internet (and likely television as well) at our fingertips, it is still possible to remain completely-informed: take advantage of the radio! Save more crucial, valuable phone use for essential emergencies and conversations. In the case the blackout lasts longer than anticipated.

We advise you to power down and stop using your iPhone for the duration of the blackout once its battery reaches 20% capacity (as difficult as that may be) so that the device will be available if a serious emergency arises.

In terms of apps, perhaps the most-necessary besides proper weather-tracking would be to search the App Store to have a flashlight app on-hand in the extreme case that faulty flashlights or unchecked batteries leave people in the dark. (Note that opening the Camera app, setting it to video mode, and turning on flash will have the same effect.) We would not advise utilizing a flashlight app as a long-term solution as it does drain battery quickly; a standalone flashlight is preferred although this could aid in a worst-case scenario.

If your cable feed goes down but you are able to charge your iOS device’s battery battery, NBC is streaming its news program regarding Sandy to mobile devices.

With Sandy letting the first stage of its windy, rainy force be known around my home, we do hope the rest of the East Coast remains safe in this beast of a storm. We have been hearing that we should expect power outages of 7-10 days, so please do take our tips to heart.

Published on an iPhone, with power already intermittently being lost despite how Sandy has yet to touch down on the coast.