Apr 27 2009
Disasters can happen without warning (and I’m not just talking about hard drive crash). Its easy to assume that your technology is a loss once the power is out, but as we’ll see in this tutorial your iPod could save the day.
DISCLAIMER: We here at MacMerc don’t pretent to be experts in emergency preparedness or first aid. This tutorial is intended to inform you as to a potential use of your iPod that may help you in an emergency. We’re not responsible for loss of data, life or limb. Use your good judgement and advice from experts!
What we’re going to do:
We are going to load up your old iPod with essential data you may need in an emergency. To keep your escape pod usefull, we’ll automate update process.
What you need:
- An iPod (preferably Hard Drive based)
- iPod battery recharger/backup (optional) like the rechargeable Kensington Mini Battery Extender ($50) or the AAA powered Griffin TuneJuice 2 Battery Backup ($16)
- Waterproof case (optional) like the Pelican 1010 Waterproof case ($13) which is available with an iPod insert for a few dollars more: Pelican i1010t ($27)
- USB 2.0 hub (optional) – since we may decide to dedicate a port to the ‘pod
Step 1: Stashing important data
Using a hard drive-based iPod with disk access enabled gives us gigs of room to use to back up essential data you want to preserve in an emergency. The iPod’s size makes it an ideal grab-and-go item, so lets load it up with files we will need and can’t replace. This will be different for everyone, but here are some ideas:
- Scanned documents like birth certificates
- Account identification and serial numbers
- Insurance information including photos/video
- Photos and other non-replacable files from your Mar
To keep this supply fresh, create an AppleScript folder action or Automator action that copies important files to your iPod.
Step 2: iPod-readable info
Your iPod is more than a dumb-drive. Depending on the model, its a text reader, audio player, contacts browser, photo viewer and movie player. Consider syning the following data to your iPod for use on your iPod in an emergency:
- Emergency contact info
- Credit card cancelation numbers as contacts
- Text or audio emergency plan (where to regroup, what to take)
- First Aid/Emergency reference information (like these podcasts: Learn CPR, First Aid Advice, Surviving Natural & Manmade Disasters and Practical
If you device to keep your escape pod connected to your Mac, use iTunes to keep this data up-to-date.
Step 3:Putting it all together
You may want to keep your escape pod plugged in to your Mac to make it easy to keep the content fresh. You may also decide to stash your iPod somewhere safe in a shock-proof/water-proof container. Either way, do your best to make sure it is both accessible in an emergency and protected from thieves and the elements.
Battery boosters listed above will keep your pod alive. Consider whether to go with a Lithium Ion rechargeable that must be continuously charged or a non-rechargable battery powered one that can be stored longer.
Create a reminder every few months in iCal to check and update your escape pod. Since old cell phones can still dial 911, store one of those with your pod too. Now when disaster strikes you will be armed with information you need. Not to mention an odd-shaped flashlight.