My emergency backup plans


As I write this post, our power’s been out for over a day. But does that stop me? Not at all! I have several layers of backup plans in place in case of emergency. I’m definitely not prepared for every emergency, but I’m in pretty good shape with the technology. If there’s a huge disaster, perhaps we can barter and you can cook me a meal in exchange for Internet access.


iPad with 3G: My iPad, which I’m using to write this post, has proven to be my ultimate backup plan. Need directions? No problem. Need to work on vacation? Under control. No power? Got it covered. I keep it charged and ready for an emergency, and carry it wherever it go. I’m glad I sprang for the 3G plan, so I always have Internet access.

Mifi: Two summers ago we vacationed at a condo that was supposed to have Internet access but didn’t. It was partially a business trip for my husband, so we sprang for a Mifi card, which provides Internet access for up to five devices. When the power or the Internet is down, or when we’re in a location without Internet, it’s invaluable.

Computer backups:

I back up my data on a hard disk and on SugarSync. The latter comes in handy when I need to access a file from a remote location, since I can do so using a web browser or the app on my iPad or iPhone.


Extra chargers: I have an extra charger for my iPhone and iPad at work. I made sure both devices were fully charged before I left work today. I also have a car charger.

American Red Cross Microlink radioAmerican Red Cross Microlink FR160 Red:
That’s the name of my handy-dandy radio/flashlight/USB charger. It works by solar power or cranking it by hand. It’s not optimal, but I’m glad I have it in case of an emergency.



Flashlights: I check the batteries on a regular basis. We have lanterns, small flashlights, tea lights and book lights. Right now we have two battery-powered lanterns on. My favorite light, a headlamp, is picture to the right. See

Candles: We haven’t needed them yet, but we have them ready.


Besides our cell phones, we also have a corded landline that doesn’t need electricity to work. Even when the power is out, it still operates. Note: if necessary, I could use my iPhone as an alarm clock. I don’t want to waste the power, though, and I always wake up on time by myself.


If our water supply fails, we have several five-gallon bottles of water. We also have a filter that we can run pool water through for drinking.


If we can’t cook on the stove, we can use our barbecues. (Assuming the propane tanks are filled.)


Whatever happens, we must document it! Besides my digital SLR camera, I also have a point and shoot camera. I also have the iPhone and the iPad. All of these also take video, but I also carry a Flip camera with me.

Yes, if disaster strikes, I’ll be able to tweet it. In fact, that was the first thing I did when we had our Great California Shakeout drill at work. Just be sure to feed me!

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