How to survive a winter storm using tech

When a nasty storm hits during the summer it can be miserable, but when a winter storm descends onto your house you may have to deal with being stuck indoors behind a wall of ice and snow. Whether this is your first Nor'easter, or you've been making snow angels since you were a kid, we've got some tips for getting through a blizzard using the tech you have (or should have) on-hand.

Track the storm

Weathering out a storm during the winter has its own set of challenges that can start well before the storm even fully reaches you. From icy rain to road closures to knowing how much snow to expect — and for how long — there are many different factors to consider. Your best bet is to keep an eye on the local weather. While you may get automated alerts if a winter storm or blizzard warning is sent out by the state, but having a dedicated app can give you a much better idea of what to expect.

While there are plenty of different apps that can help you out, Weather Underground is one of the best for monitoring precipitation (that's rain, snow and anything else you could expect) in real-time.

More: Best Weather apps for Android

Keep charged

Winter storms can easily knock out your power, and if the roads are iced over you may not get it back for hours — or days — at a time. If you know that there is a storm rolling in, you're going to want to make sure that all of your devices have the best charge possible.

Since many people live on their phones now, chances are you no longer pay for a landline. This means that if something goes wrong, it's absolutely imperative that you have a phone so that you can contact friends or emergency personnel. This also means that if possible, you're going to want to lay off of playing around on Facebook if you're suspicious that the power is going to cut out.

This goes for your portable battery packs, too. It's no good having a spare battery if you forget to charge it up. So make sure that everything is charged up, and things will be easier to deal with.

Stock up

While there is always a run on milk and toilet paper when a blizzard threatens, you may not be considering the tech accessories that can make it easier to weather out a storm. Your battery is what powers all of your devices, and they are going to be the only thing working if you lose power. With that in mind picking up a portable charger, and taking a few precautions can make it much, much easier to ride out the storm with ease.

If you're hoping to download Netflix programs for offline viewing, or watching movies from your tablet, then you'll need as much power as you can get. What we suggest is this 20,000mAh battery pack from Anker with both USB-C and USB-A ports it can easily power all of your devices so you aren't stuck in the dark.

Of course, if you live in an area that is notorious for losing power every winter, then you may just want to pony up for something a bit bigger. This Anker Powerhouse generator has a 120,000mAh capacity which will easily keep you running for a few days while you wait for the plows to rescue you through mountains of snow.

If you plan on using a larger portable battery to allow you to watch your digital movies or shows while you're snowed in then we have another precaution for you. In the case that you get hit with a record-breaking storm — aka Snowpocalypse — then it's very possible that your data may be affected. To avoid that, and stick to your data limit, try to use programs such as Netflix, Spotify, and even Google Maps, that support offline storage, so you don't need a data connection to access critical information and content.

Non-tech necessities

While having the right tech accessories handy can help you get through the storm, there are some regular items that can help you get through things unscathed. Depending on where you live a winter storm preparedness kit is going to look different, but a few stock items are pretty clear across the board.

Extra blankets, flashlights, batteries, and candles are all solid go-tos. You'll also want a portable camping stove to cook some hot meals using just a few replaceable gas canisters. You'll probably need an AM/FM radio, too, just in case.

Are you prepared?

Winter storms and blizzards have already coated the Continental U.S. sending massive amounts of snow dropping from Florida all the way up to Maine. These weather conditions are normal for everyone, so having an easy checklist to make sure you're prepped and ready is a good call. Is there a tip or trick that you think ought to have made our list? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Jen Karner

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.