Prepping For a Storm
First of all, our hearts go out to everyone impacted by Hurricane Ian. That storm was a monster, and the devastation it left behind is heartbreaking. Watching the footage made us think: how can Alexa help us monitor and prepare for events like this in the future?
Of course, there are more than a few ways. With that said, we felt like it’s the perfect time to provide a refresher on how Amazon Echo and Alexa can help you make it through severe weather. This includes hurricanes, and also cold weather events that are going to be more common as we head into the winter months.
For starters, when it comes to preparing for a storm, especially up North, Alexa can help you adjust the temperature in your home. If you know that a big snowstorm is forming, just ask Alexa to raise your home temperature by a few degrees to ensure everyone stays warm indoors. In 2019, cold temperatures killed nearly four times as many people as warm temperatures, according to a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. This could be really important if you’re using Alexa to take care of older members of the family.
Along the same lines, Alexa (working in tandem with the Flo Smart Water Monitor) can help prevent the pipes in your home from freezing and bursting.
The Flo Smart Water Monitor works by connecting to your home’s main water line and monitoring the temperature of your pipes. If things get too cold, Alexa will send you a notification and ask if you want to preemptively shut off your water.
Alexa really thrives when a major storm is brewing.
A few of the ways that she can help are by reporting your region’s latest weather patterns, sending you severe weather alerts, and even tracking specific storms with the “Hurricane Center” skill. Just ask Alexa “what are the current storms?” and she’ll keep you up to date.
Additionally, if you have the Echo smart display then you can even ask Alexa to show you live weather radar. Amazon calls this the “Big Sky” skill and it lets you see hourly temperature, wind, and rain data. It also shows you exactly where the storm is using a radar screen.
If the storm is starting to get serious then you can always tap into Alexa’s knowledge base to map out the least-congested evacuation route (assuming your home still has power and WiFi). Just ask her for directions to your preferred destination.
And, while Alexa can’t call 911, you can always ask her to “call for help” so that she dials a preprogrammed emergency contact. Just be sure to plug in your emergency contacts information ahead of time!
We typically think of Alexa as a fun, entertaining home assistant. But, with functions like this in mind, she can also serve as a quasi first responder during a storm.