It’s Wednesday here is Hazlet, NJ, 2 days after the Hurricane and there’s still no power. I’d like to share with you a few techtips that helped us through this situation. Hopefully, if this ever does happen again, you may find this info helpful. Here’s a list of some technology info that I learned during this experience.
1. Businesses with cloud solutions are up, sorta…
While power is out in NJ, businesses are suffering as well. The ones with cloud solutions are almost completely up and running. Again, cloud solutions are when your data, email or anything else is stored outside your office and accessible via the web. The only problem these companies have is having internet in their homes to take advantage of their cloud service. At least these clients can stay in contact with clients using their cellular data plans, which leads me to my next point.
2. Just because power is out, doesn’t mean internet is out.As I type this, I am at home using my Verizon Fios internet. I also know that Comcast & Cablevision is up in most areas as well. Not sure how it works myself, but it works. The only caveat is that you must power your modem, and in the case of Fios, you must also power your junction box coming into your home. This is not so terrible since the junction box has its own battery backup. Once you charge it up, it should be good for 6 to 8 hours. The idea is that if you can get power to your modem and box, you’d be in business as long at your laptop or iPad, iPhone were charged. We use various ways to charge our electronic devices which brings me to my next point…
3. If you own a car, you own a generator.The way we’ve been charging our modem and junction box is through our car from a high end power inverter. We’re not talking about a standard cigarette lighter inverter, we’re talking about a heavy duty power inverter that hooks directly onto the car battery while the car idles. With this, we are able to charge laptops, phones, and even battery backup devices so that when we want to give the car a rest, we can still have power. I don’t advise idling your car for more than 45 minutes, but at this rate, it does the trick. With charged devices we can watch movies on laptops and keep spirits up with some entertainment. Below is the exact one that I have. Power a 47″ LCD TV, cablebox, 2 xbox’s, 2 23″ LCD monitors, charged 2 battery backup devices, 3 laptops and a hot water heater, all off the car, all at the same time. Not cheap at around $400 but well worth it if you don’t have a generator. It was amazing, with all that draw the load was steady at green. Just remember to use a nice thick power cable to handle the load.
4. Buy a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 w/ HDTV Tuner
Probably the best purchase I have ever made for my wife is this little dell netbook. Today you can probably get it for $200, I got it new for $600. While power went out in Hazlet at 2pm on Monday, we have been able to watch TV with this little guy and watch up to 4 hours on a full charge with the extended battery. We were able to watch the Battery Tunnel flooding coverage live and be informed by the minute. This device is a netbook with built in TV tuner. It comes complete with an external rabbit ear antenna giving us the ability to take TV from the air like the olden days, and the reception is in HD. This device above all else, gave us something to do and really calmed my wife down when the bad times came Monday night. Everyone should have one and in hind sight, I should have bought a second battery.
I hope some of this info was helpful, a lot of the issues with no power can be resolved with a generator. If the investment seems to great or it just wont work where you live, these tips should do you fine. The goal is to stay busy, keep in high spirits, and make the most of your days with limited to no power.