- Charge your phones, tablets, laptops. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
- Spare batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
- Car charger. Get one. Get a couple, actually.
- After the storm, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BBM! We've heard many stories of disasters striking and BBM being the only way to get messages through when phone calls and text messages fail. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance, but BBM will likely be most reliable.
- If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings before the storm hits. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.
- While you still have power and internet access, be it on your phone or broadband, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Google+ or Dropbox to make sure those pictures get somewhere that can't be destroyed by the storm. Better to be safe than sorry in that case.
- If you just have to use Instagram or other picture apps during a storm, don't use a damn filter. Folks wanna see what's happening, and filters don't help that.
- Use apps like Evernote to help keep track of your emergency supplies.
- Before the storm, use those gas-finder apps to track down the cheapest petrol. That won't help you with the lines, but it may save you a few bucks.
- See if your phone can serve as an FM radio, if you don't have any others around. (That's not out of the question in 2012).
- Apps from FEMA and the Red Cross can help you find shelters and other emergency information.
Regardless of what smartphone platform you choose, we want you to be safe. Take the tips above to heart, and most of all be safe! If you have any tips you want to add that aren't listed above, please share them in the comments below.
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