Ed. note: Bumping this up because it's important stuff.
OK, boys and girls on the East Cost. Listen up. Hurricane Sandy's on her way, and she's liable to make a mess of things next week. Just how bad depends on who you're reading, but regardless it's time to start getting ready. As we tend to do when storms like this pop up, let's review how our Android phones can help.
- Charge your phones. 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, text messages may work best. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
- 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. 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 broadbad, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Google+ 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 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.
And as of this writing, Google's "Playground" event is still on for Monday morning. If that changes, you'll hear it here first. And Google's event is off. Stay safe out there, people.