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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

September is Disaster Preparedness Month: 9 Technology and Apps to Help you Weather the Storm

Since 2004, September has been recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as National Preparedness Month. If you’ve been paying attention to the natural disasters around the globe, you can see why it’s important to have a game plan in place to protect your family and business when disaster strikes. Different types of disasters and emergencies can happen at any time, but there are steps that you can take to be better prepared for them. If you do nothing else this month, take a look at the following technology that can help you in an event of a disaster. 1. The FEMA App: The Federal Emergency Management Agency's app brings together weather data and what to do before, during and after different types of disasters. It also provides information on shelters and how to contact FEMA if you need help. 2. BioLite CampStove: This awesome device allows you to heat up your soup and recharge your smartphone. What makes this device so special is the fact it  burns wood — sticks, twigs, whatever — and uses the waste heat from the fire to create electricity.

3. The Red Cross Apps: The Red Cross has a list of different apps designed to help you in a disaster.  For example, there are apps on how to provide first aid, where to find shelters and even how to provide first aid to your pet.   4. Facebook Safety Check: Allows Facebook users in the path of a disaster or emergency to indicate if they need help and enables users to check on friends’ and relatives’ status. 5. Goal Zero Multi-Tool Kit: This handy kit uses solar power to help when you need to charge your devices and the power is out. It includes a solar panel, flashlight, fan and battery to store all that power. It can recharge your smartphone or any USB device. 6. 6. Zello: A digital walkie talkie app has become the top downloaded app during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The app allows you to communicate with search and rescue if you ever become stranded during a disaster. 7. The Blackout Buddy: No more groping around in the dark when the power goes off. The Blackout Buddy is a flashlight that plugs into an outlet so it’s charged and ready when power goes out. When the power switches off, use it as a flashlight with four hours of power.  8. The Weather Channel: Along with normal weather coverage, this app provides up to date weather information and a link to information about current weather emergencies on its front page. You can also modify to app to alert you when bad weather is headed your way. 9: Carbonite: This #1 rated cloud backup service automatically saves & protects your important documents, photos and videos.  If something catastrophic happens to your computer, laptop or smartdevice, your information will be safe in the cloud.

What plan does your family have in the case of an emergency?  If you don't, this month is a great time to get one in place.  What do you think of technology featured?  Drop me a line and let me know!

How else can you keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts? Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’ There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business. Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at  

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