The Best Tech to Prepare for Severe Weather

September is National Preparedness Month, and on my blog we’ll be taking a look at all the different ways you can leverage tech to stay safe and protect yourself and your family. One thing you should always be prepared for is severe weather, especially if you live somewhere that’s prone to regular flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes or tornados. However, even if your location isn’t disaster prone, there are steps you should take to be prepared in case of any kind of emergency!

While there’s plenty of tech you should already have available just in case (things like hand-crank operated radios, extra batteries, duct tape), today I’m going to take a look at a few great pieces of tech you probably haven’t thought of but will definitely come in handy should the big storm hit your home this year.

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TODAY: Medical apps, sites to keep your family healthy

This week I had the pleasure of working on a segment with Dr. Keri Peterson, Internal Medicine and contributor to Women’s Health Magazine!  We discussed some incredible medical apps and sites that we feel people should really consider for their own benefit. Oh, and I was joined on-air by Al Roker and none other than Brooke Shields!

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HLN: Know your neighbors and use

According to a June 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, only 29% of Americans know some of their neighbors and 28% know none of their neighbors by name! So this week through this weekend, Mario Armstrong is appearing on HLN to talk about what YOU can do to meet and get to know your neighbors and use that knowledge to better connect with people, reduce crime in your neighborhood, and just keep tabs on what’s going on!

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Katie Couric Show: Accidentally Outed as Gay on Facebook

Today on Katie, Mario Armstrong talked to two young people, Bobbi Duncan and Taylor McCormick from Austin, Texas, who were accidentally outed as gay to their families and friends on Facebook. Despite both of them having been very careful with their Facebook privacy settings, due to a flaw in how pages work on Facebook, when they were added to their university’s Queer Chorus group’s Facebook group. The president of the chorus had added them to the group, which then notified their friends and families they’d joined, revealing their sexuality to many people from whom they’d been keeping it secret, including their parents.

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HLN: Online Courses to keep skills sharp during the summer!

Whether you’ ve got kids going on summer break and you’re worried about whether or not they can keep their skills sharp over the next few months, or you’re an adult who wants to learn more, tackle a new field, or just dip your toes into a subject matter, online educational tools and courses are an amazing asset. There are a ton of cool things about these sites & getting an Education Online. For one, you’ve got a flexible schedule. There are no fixed classes or deadlines, so you can work at your own pace. Another advantage is being able to work from anywhere—home, the library, a coffee shop, whatever! Even for sites that charge, it still costs a fraction to learn online compared to what you’d have to spend to take even a continuing ed course at the local community college, and you further save on gas and time by not having to commute to drive your kid to their classes. Finally, online courses can be updated frequently so there’s no need to worry that you’re getting an expired education.

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Parents Need to Be Concerned About the Xbox One, coming in November for $499

For any parents watching Microsoft’s Xbox One press event at E3 today, there was a lot to be concerned about. Not just about the console itself, which promises to usher in a new era of socially connected home and entertainment, or even the price, which is an increase across the board, but in the continued focus by Microsoft on the ultra-violent games that will be the flagship titles for the new console.

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Safe Browsing and Parental Controls (TODAY Show video)

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Apps Mentioned in this piece:

Private WiFi – Encrypts your data so anything you transmit online (usernames, passwords, credit cards) aren’t visible to anyone else using the same WiFi network.

Private Browsing – A feature on many major browsers tooday, including Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. You can use this to keep your browsing history safe on a public or shared computer.

Parental Controls – No matter what devices your children are using, there are parental controls you need to be using! Here are some instructions for setting them up on Windows, iPhone, Mac, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.