Summer is in full swing now, but along with vacation travel, camping, and days off, extreme weather has arrived in many parts of the country. If you live in an area that is prone to such conditions, it helps to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you use your technology during major weather times—sometimes, even when power and cell service are unstable.

Getting accurate local weather information helps you anticipate nearby threats, such as hurricanes, flash floods, tornadoes, or wildfires. Setting up alerts in Apple’s default weather app, the Google app, or a specialized weather app keeps you informed. Bookmark government web pages in your browser, such as those of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationhe National Hurricane Center or the US Air Quality Index — are good for manual checks of current conditions.

Your phone can also receive wireless emergency alerts from authorized federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities. Check your notification settings to make sure they are enabled.

The American Red Cross also has a Emergency app, which lets you track 40 types of hazards, including earthquakes, tornadoes, extreme heat, hurricanes, wildfires, and more, with alerts in English and Spanish. Consolidating information from older Red Cross apps, Emergency also offers checklists, first aid tips, information on nearby shelters and downloadable guides that work offline.

If the power goes out, you’ll need alternative ways to charge your phone, such as a solar panel, a power cord for your car’s dash 12-volt outlet, or a crank charger. Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The New York Times, has guides for alternate chargers, emergency radios, and other gear to help you during hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes.

Losing your physical wallet in a catastrophe can be very upsetting, but if you have credit or debit cards saved in the digital wallet app on your phone, you have a backup for businesses with contactless payment terminals. Digital versions of your health care cards and driver’s license may also be options. (Four states now offer official digital driver’s licenses or state identification cards for Apple and Google wallet apps, but more to come, including New York; some states also have their own digital ID applications).

Almost every major insurance company has their own mobile app that you can use to file a claim, get roadside assistance, and check policy documents. If you haven’t installed your carrier’s app and set up your account on your phone, do so before you need to use it.

And if you experience air travel disruptions, your airline’s app helps you rebook flights.

Sealed plastic boxes and fireproof chests can help protect vital documents and photos from the elements. However, digitizing the material and storing it in the cloud on a secure server gives you a virtual backup out of the reach of nature. Many all-in-ones include a scanner, but you can also scan files reasonably well with a smartphone app.

Major storms often disrupt the delivery of gasoline and other items in the supply chain. with his price maps and cut tracker characteristics, the GasBuddy site and Applications can help you find service stations that work.

of Apple iPhonesof Google pixel phones, samsung Galaxy Devices and other phones have shortcuts to call emergency services and pinpoint your location. Apple iPhone 14 models also include a satellite SOS function for when you’re out of cellular range and Google has a personal security app for Android. Make sure you know how everything works in your model so you can get help quickly if needed.

If you’re stuck with a rapidly depleting phone battery and no power, consider this common trick if you still have cell service: Change your voicemail greeting to indicate your location and situation. Even if your phone battery dies, loved ones trying to reach you will get the information.

Of course, there may be situations so extreme that your phone is lost or damaged. Turning on the “find my phone” feature in your device’s settings before bad weather hits offers the electronic hope of finding it later.

To recover faster from a destroyed phone, back it up online so your content is safe and ready to download to a replacement device. Your phone manufacturer will be happy to sell you extra online storage space for a few bucks a month if you need it, but just make sure you have time to do a full cloud backup before that storm hits. the clouds hit.

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