Stay connected and protected when severe weather strikes

Severe weather season is here, which means an increased risk for thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes in many parts of the U.S.

Storms can be dangerous for you and your tech. But there are some simple ways to help keep you and gear safe.

To learn more, we talked to Aaron Byrd, the general manager of the Best Buy store in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. His colleagues call him “The Weatherman” because he’s passionate about the weather and even took some meteorology courses in college. (He also experienced hurricanes while growing up in Houston and tornadoes while living in Missouri.)

Stay alert and connected

Weather radios are always a smart choice in case a storm strikes, and be sure to turn on the Wireless Emergency Alerts in your smartphone settings. Smartphones can also help you track weather with apps like The American Red Cross Emergency app, which lets your friends and family know you’re OK via social media.

Cases like the LifeProof FrĒ Protective Water-resistant Case not only protect against drops, but are highly resistant to moisture, so you can use your phone in the rain.

“Our phones are some of the greatest tools we have, so we need to protect them,” Aaron said.

Be sure to charge your phone and other devices before a storm hits, just in case you lose power. And keep a battery backup, like the mophie Powerstation 6000 mAh Portable Charger, handy for those times when you lose access to power.

That helped Aaron and his family stay in the know when severe whether hit while they were camping. “If it hadn’t been for two or three battery backups, we wouldn’t have been prepared,” he said.

Protect your devices and data

During storms, power surges can damage TVs and other devices that are plugged in to electrical outlets. Surge protectors, like the Insignia 8-Outlet Surge Protector Strip, are essential for keeping gadgets safe. (Over time, surge protectors can wear out. Visit with a Best Buy Blue Shirt or Geek Squad Agent who can make recommendations based on your specific situation.)

But that’s not all you should consider.  

“Surge protectors will protect you very locally,” Aaron said. “It’s also important to have Geek Squad Protection and now Total Tech Support.”

Unlike most manufacturer warranties, some Geek Squad Protection plans include repairs related to a power surge. And Total Tech Support gives you extended tech help by offering you unlimited Geek Squad support 24/7 in-store, by phone, online and through the Best Buy Home App.

No matter what protection you have, be sure to keep all your files backed up externally. You can use a cloud service (like iCloud or Google Drive) or an external hard drive (like the WD easystore 4TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive). Doing so ensures you won’t lose any important photos or documents if your computer is damaged.

Survey the damage

Video cameras like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wire-free help you see what’s going on outside your home, whether you’re taking shelter in the basement or away on vacation.  

And after severe weather occurs, a drone with a video camera can help you survey and record any damage, like on your roof or in your yard.

“Taking toys like drones and making them tools can help you evaluate your house and property, so you don’t have to fight with insurance companies,” Aaron said.  

  

Visit your nearest Best Buy store to chat with a Blue Shirt or Geek Squad Agent for more product recommendations and tips.