9 Tips For Keeping Your Data Safe during Fire Season

Fire Season
James Peak during Fire Season

Note: I originally wrote this post about Prepping your Tech for Fire Season on 1 May 2018. It’s been updated to add more information.

I woke up this morning to a hazy, smoky view and I am reminded that it is Fire Season again.  In this case, the fire is two states away, but the smoke is pushed hundreds of miles by the jet stream. Even though the fire is so far away, it is a reminder that when you live in the west, you need to be prepared to evacuate, at a moment’s notice. Here are our recommendations to be prepared for Fire Season, to keep your data safe, and to make sure your technology continues to work wherever you land.

Recommendations for Fire Season:

Use a laptop for your daily computer:

  • There is not a lot of difference between a laptop and a desktop anymore, so get the computer that will allow you to grab it fast.  You can still have a large monitor and keyboard on your desk.  If you need to bug out, just unplug everything.

Get two charging cables for your laptop:

  • Keep one at your desk and the other in the laptop case.  This way you won’t need to grab anything extra.

Use the Cloud:

  • Make sure you use the Cloud to back up your data.  An external hard drive can accidentally get left behind.  Or worse, you may not even have time to grab your laptop.   I like Dropbox because I can log onto the Internet from anywhere to easily access my data.

Get a Hot Spot:

  • Talk to your cell phone provider about turning your cell phone into a hot spot.  As long as you have access to a good cellular signal, you’ll be able to send a good wifi signal to your laptop from anywhere.
  • Speaking of “Hot Spots”, here’s a great video from Jefferson County Fire Department on what to do if you think you spot smoke or a wildland fire:

POWER!

  • Make sure you have a bunch of fully charged battery packs.  I recommend getting two of these Power Banks. Several months ago I purchased two and was constantly using one or the other until I gave one away to someone who really needed it.  It’s in my laptop case, so if I run low on charge, I can easily get recharged again.

More Tips:

  • Keep the Geek For Hire phone number handy.  We can talk you through most issues you might be having.  Remember, if you just have a quick question, we don’t charge for phone calls under 10 minutes.
  • During Fire Season, remember to keep your precious photos and other valuables in a bin by the door ready to go in case you do get evacuated.
  • Keep your fuel tanks at least half full throughout Fire Season.
  • Grab your laundry basket.  All of your favorite clothes are already in there!

On the bright side, we’ll be treated to some amazing sunrises and sunsets until that fire is under control!

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INFORMATION ABOUT GEEK FOR HIRE, INC.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has provided computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

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