Technology in your emergency kit

Technology in your emergency kit

By the I.T. Guy

Click aqui para español->Tecnología en su kit de Emergencia

Technology has become a part of us. The Hurricane Season is upon us, having started on June 1st, and will last until November 30th. As residents of South-eastern Louisiana, we must always be ready for the worst-case scenario.

Technology can save our lives and there are several ways we can use it to be prepared for this active season. An effective way to approach hurricane preparedness is to think of it as preparing for a family camping trip.

Of course, having a smartphone with a data plan is necessary nowadays, especially during an emergency. Even though social media is not a necessity, it serves as a method of reaching everyone in your network instantly to let them know that you are safe after any catastrophic event. It also serves as a great platform to perform massive calls for help and also to better direct helpers in the right direction.

Data plans allow the possibility of texting family and friends, but for your smart device to work you must have access to a power source. Because electricity is one of the services that we lose easily during a hurricane due to strong winds and electrical storms, it is wise to add power banks to your emergency kit. It is important to remember to check that they are charged prior to the event, and to use power banks only when necessary during the storm.

Solar chargers may also be used to power telephones and other small devices, which can be plugged in through USB ports. Technology makes many things easier and relying on its assistance during an emergency can improve any dire situation. You can use a variety of apps on your smartphone to check the weather forecast, to listen to official communications, and to get local information from news stations.

Some apps can even be used to provide rescuers with your location during search operations. Hurricane Katrina served as a clear example of how telephone lines could fail. During and after Hurricane Katrina it was almost impossible to make regular phone calls.

Only through the use of data were people able to reach relatives and friends via text messages and emails. If there is a mandatory evacuation, people should understand the danger of staying behind. But for other events that have not warranted a mandatory evacuation, the use of technology can save your life. Having a reliable data plan and using technology should be incorporated into your traditional emergency kit.

The I.T. Guy

Writer/Web Design/Integration

Tech Talk/Discussion Tecnologica

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Publisher's Note

Mixing Traditions

It is no cliché. New Orleans has a wonderful mix of traditions that add to the charm of this amazing city. With the holidays in full-swing, we can enjoy holiday-centered, free events like simple walks around traditional neighborhoods to see the elaborate Christmas decorations, Caroling in Jackson Square, attending the gospel and jazz concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church, watching the technological light display during Luna Fête, and visiting the beautifully decorated hotel lobbies in town, among others.

 There is one tradition in Louisiana that is so unique and that I hope to experience this year: The Bonfires on the Levee. Just thinking about seeing the pyres, the fireworks display and its reflection on the river during a cold night and having a warm drink while learning about this tradition from our River Parishes' neighbors sounds like an amazing way to soak in some of the culture around us.

Though the original purpose of the bonfires is unconfirmed, fitting the storyline of Papa Noel following the lights on a pirogue being pulled down river by alligators to deliver presents is such a tale. It involves a mix of many elements that are unique to the culture that has shaped the city of New Orleans.

I just love being able to experience different traditions and learning about the ways diverse groups of people who have made New Orleans their home, celebrate the holidays

Happy Holidays!