Wednesday, April 14, 2021

30 Items for Your SHTF Tablet

One item everyone should have in their SHTF arsenal is a tablet that can be used in an emergency situation.  Here are 30 items that should be included in your emergency tablet:

  1. The tablet itself.  I am partial to Android tablets as they are much less locked down than Apple tablets.  YMMV
  2. The operating system.  A nice thing about Android tablets is that they can be "de Googled" and flashed with alternate--and more secure--ROMs like Calyx, Lineage, etc.
  3. Apps.  Again, with Android tablets, they can use an assortment of apps from Play Store apps to fDroid apps, etc.
  4. A tablet wireless plan.  Any old tablet will do but a nice option is to have an LTE tablet so that it can have its own wireless plan (this saves using your cell phone as a hotspot and running down its battery).  If you don't want a monthly post-paid plan, SIM cards for prepaid tablet plans are a good option.
  5. Micro SD cards/appropriate USB thumb drives.  Many Android tablets allow you to use micro SD cards to expand the memory of the tablet; if this isn't an option, using an appropriate thumb drive (USB-C, lightening, etc) to store information on to use with your tablet is a good idea.
  6. A VPN.  While not fool-proof, using a VPN with your tablet is a good idea when it comes to added security.
  7. Battery banks.  One should be conventional which can be charged when you have access to power and the other should be a battery bank that can be charged with solar power.
  8. Local news apps.  A few different local news apps can keep you up-to-date on the latest local news.
  9. National news apps.  Ditto but on a national news level.
  10. Scanner apps.  Listen in on local and national police/fire/etc radio traffic on scanner apps like Broadcastify or Scanner Radio; this is particularly useful during a disaster.
  11. Weather apps.  Weather apps can give you updates on local and national weather and also allow you to be alerted when there is threatening weather in your area.
  12. Map apps.  For everyday use Google Maps and Waze provide useful information for navigating around your city.  It's also a good idea to download offline maps that can be used when you don't have wifi or a cell signal.  Be sure to download free topo maps too.
  13. Radio apps.  There are several good radio apps that allow you to listen to music and news on local, national, and international radio stations.  Using the NextRadio app may allow you to listen to FM radio even when your tablet is offline.
  14. Downloadable survival manuals.  This is where the micro SD cards come in handy as there are a range of offline survival manuals that you can download but they take up a lot of memory.
  15. Emergency Alert apps.  There are a bunch of emergency alert apps that will let you know if there are emergency situations in your area.  These include this one, this one, and this one.
  16. Social media apps.  Another way to both give and receive emergency information is via social media apps.  Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc. all allow you to interact with people near and far.
  17. A backup of all of the files on your computer.  All of the files on your computer can be backed up on your tablet for use during an emergency; be sure to use a good file manager app to easily access your files.
  18. First aid apps.  There are a number of first aid apps which work online, as well as a bunch of first aid manuals you can download for offline use.
  19. Messaging apps.  You can use the standard messaging app that comes on your tablet (these may require a work around if it is a cell phone-based app being used on a tablet), more secure messaging apps, and even walkie talkie apps to communicate with loved ones during a disaster.
  20. Banking apps.  During a disaster, your local bank branches may be closed but you can still access your money via banking apps on your tablet.  Using apps like PayPal, Venmo, or Xoom allow you to easily transfer money to other people if needed.
  21. Entertainment apps.  During most disasters there is a lot of panic followed by a lot of waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  Make sure you have apps on your tablet that allow you to access your entertainment options offline like reading downloaded books on Kindle, watching videos and movies offline, listening to music kept on your tablet, playing games offline, etc.  If you do have access to wifi or LTE, Pluto TV is a good alternative for watching TV on your tablet.
  22. Apps that alert you to disasters that are common in your area like tornados, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
  23. Personal safety apps.  You can use apps to find your family members, record and upload interactions, and receive emergency help.
  24. Recipes.  During a disaster--or a pandemic lockdown--you may be cooking at home a lot more.  Unless you have recipes committed to memory, copy and save a range of recipes to help you cook meals from scratch if necessary.
  25. Personal info.  If this information isn't a part of your backed up computer files, use your tablet to take photos of important documents (passport, driver's license, etc), take inventory videos of the contents of your home (for insurance purposes), and scan/save documents like your will, living will, medical power of attorney, banking/investing documents, etc.
  26. Missing person info.  If you were to become separated from your loved ones during a disaster, you would need certain information in order to find them afterwards.  On your tablet have recent photos of each loved one/family member (face and full body), their full name, address, email address, social media handles, social security number, birthdate, photos of tattoos or scars, medical info, etc.  You can save this guide on your tablet which further expands on the information needed when filing a missing person report.
  27. HAM radio apps.  If you are a HAM radio user, having appropriate apps on your tablet (like radio reference for a database of frequencies) can be very useful in a disaster.
  28. Apps for wild edibles and foraging.  Make sure the wild plants you find are safe and edible by using appropriate apps for this.  Ditto if you hunt for wild mushrooms.
  29. General disaster apps.  These can be local or global in scope and cover everything from blast mapping apps to CBRNE response apps.
  30. Other apps which would be useful in an emergency including a flashlight app, a measuring app, notes, web browser, shopping apps, calculator, etc.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good list and I keep coming back to your blog cuz you do such a great job.
    I comment today because I was unaware of alternate OS's for an android phone/tablet and your list got me looking at alternatives, ie, calyxos, lineageos, etc.