Thanks to Our Wall of Fame Geeks!
Before we get into it, remember, we’re still setting up the brand new studio. The massive Infinity Wall is going up as I shoot this! A HUGE thanks to those of you in our awesome community who have decided to put YOUR name on our Geek House Wall of Fame and help support our efforts to make this place Geek Heaven!
Robert Albury got a large one!
Rene Ritchie $250
Banks Peacock $125
Roy Eubanks $125
Scott Pirnie $125
Bruce Murray from ASSIST Information Services (2) $250s
Gabriel Dusil $250
Philip Bardasian $250
Simon Cheung $125
You guys are so cool! If you’d like to participate go to geekbeat.tv/fundraiser
And a special shoutout to new Patron Chris Fason at the Doctor Geek Level! We appreciate everything you guys do!
Storms are Brewing
We’re in the early stages of the Atlantic Hurricane season which officially runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t always stay true to the dates. History shows hurricanes as early as January 3rd and as late as December 30th – when, apparently she takes the New Year Holiday off.
ANYWAY… back to the current Atlantic storm season. If this year’s season is an average one, it should peak on September 10th. And the frequency should taper off around November 10th.
Whether you live along the US Atlantic or Gulf Coasts (or are just interested in Hurricanes?) you’ll be happy to know there are several apps, websites, social media accounts and gadgets to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature. But don’t get too confident! She’ll throw a wrench in your plans at any moment!
Free Hurricane Apps
To get your information straight from the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center you’ll need a Third Party App like NOAA Now for Android or “MyFoxHurricane” for both iOS and Android which bundles Fox News video along with the National Weather Service maps and information. For Windows Phone users there’s an unofficial Weather.Gov App. It pulls in maps and forecasts from the National Weather Service site.
If you’d like to bypass third party apps and still get your information straight from the National Hurricane Center or the National Weather Service, just use the full mobile versions of those sites. They’ll work on any smartphone and are ad-free. Bookmark them today; you’ll thank us later.
You should also get the Hurricane Tracker App from the American Red Cross. It’s available for Android and iOS, it’s packed with well-thought-out features. Like a button that requires only a single push to let your family and friends know you’re safe. And location-based weather alerts, real-time shelter information if you need to evacuate… even a flashlight app if you lose your power. It’s basically the “Swiss Army Knife” of Hurricane Apps.
The Insurance Information Institute has an app for iOS and Android called “Know Your Stuff” to help you do a home inventory before the store gets there… in case you have to file a claim. There’s also a “Know Your Coverage” app that helps you evaluate your coverage and a “Know Your Plan” app to develop a family emergency plan if you have to evacuate. These two are only available as iOS Apps. They don’t care about you Android or Windows users.
Hurricane Websites to Watch
Now let’s talk about websites in case you’re anti-mobile app! The National Hurricane Center’s site is an obvious choice, and they also do a blog called “Inside The Eye” that’s a great source of information. They have behind the scenes explanations of how they gather and interpret the data on their main site as well as historical perspectives you’ll only find there.
The Weather Channel’s Hurricane Central has more stuff from commercial meteorologists and a real-time Hurricane Tracker that shows the path, position, and strength of a storm. It’s slick!
Speaking of real time, did you know that when the NOAA “Hurricane Hunters” are flying into a storm you can see the live data they’re recording on the web? Awesome!
And I just added “Fly into a Hurricane” to my bucket list….
Follow Hurricane News on Social Media
The Weather Service, Hurricane Center, and NOAA are all over social media. You can follow the National Hurricane Center on Twitter and Facebook, the NHC’s Storm Surge Unit on Twitter, and get hurricane imagery on Twitter and Facebook. You might also want to follow some individual accounts like the Hurricane Center Director and those Hurricane Hunters I hope to ride with someday.
Gadgets for Hurricane Season
What about gadgets, though? Hopefully you already have your “must have” gadgets hooked up to a UPS for limited power outages. You can buy a bare bones four and a half star-rated APC power supply from Amazon for around sixty bucks or for ninety dollars more a Cyberpower Mini-Tower (also rated four and a half stars by Amazon Customers) with an LCD display to tell you how long you will have back-up power before the batteries are drained. That’s the one we use here in all our offices at the Geek House.
For longer power outages you’ll need a generator with a sine wave inverter for “clean power” for your electronics. Or a “Whole House UPS System” – that’s thousands of dollars.
Which brings me to a device that’s a “must” no matter where you live, doesn’t cost all that much, and will keep working when the lights go out: a battery operated weather radio receiver. For as little as $35 you can buy a very capable receiver like the Midland WR-120B NOAA Weather Alert Radio. It can be set to sound an alarm only for your area and comes with its own back-up power from a “triple a” battery pack.
Speaking of storms, there have been TWO Hurricane Johns but NOT ONE Hurricane Cali! Maybe I’ll take that up with the Hurricane Hunter crews when I finally get my ride.