The High-Tech Texan Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

T-Minus 10 Hours Or So

Ike continues to wreak havoc on Galveston Island. Woke up this morning to see streets already underwater. My home in Ft. Bend County is looking good for gulf coast property after this storm.

Media coverage continues everywhere you turn including the Web. As long as you have power and an Internet connection keep your eye on several websites. StormPulse seems to have the best graphics and no hype. But this site blew me away. Perfect for ADHD people but you literally have your eyes on TV coverage from KTRK, KHOU, KPRC, FOX 26 and two radar/satellite images.

Now that you have hopefully secured your home, pets, kids and stocked up on supplies you have a few hours to shore up a few more things including your technology equipment. I've been on NewsRadio 740 KTRH several times today making sure people and businesses heed these tips:
  • CHARGE, CHARGE, CHARGE your cell phones and laptop computers. If you have spare batteries for these gadgets charge them too. I am also charging our portable DVD players so the kids have something to watch in case the power is out for a while.
  • BACK UP your important computer files including photos, music, financial information, and passwords. If you don't have an external hard drive then burn the info onto CDs or DVDs or quickly transfer them onto a thumb drive.
  • If you do have a hard drive, power it down and unplug it from your machine. Keep the drive in a safe place with you. CPUs and monitors can always be replaced but that data is vital. You will be able to connect that drive to any computer and be able to use it.
  • If computers, servers, TVs or other heavy equipment are laying on floors or near windows, move them away. Wrap them up in plastic or blankets and put them on a higher floor or atleast on a raised table or bed.
  • Unplug every electronic appliance. Just because a device is not turned on does not mean it is safe from a power surge. If lighting strikes or the power jumps, many appliances can get fried. Surge protectors are good but be safer by unplugging them and moving the power cord away from the outlet.
  • If water does damage your gear make sure it dried out completely before plugging it back in. It could take several days for some things to dry out. If water rises above your electricity outlets make sure to have an electrician check out the system before plugging anything back in.

Also if you are having trouble connecting calls via cell phone, try texting. Texting uses less data to go through the network and you will know if a message was sent or had trouble going through.

Hunker down and stay dry!



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