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No matter where in the country you live, chances are you get hit with severe weather every once in a while. In New England, it’s nasty Nor’Easters and blizzards, while tornadoes are a greater threat in the Midwest. Currently, Hurricane Laura is wreaking havoc in many southern states.
Whatever the situation may be when severe weather is present, safety is the number one priority. If you’re suggested to evacuate, it’s time to evacuate. But oftentimes, people are forced to hunker down at home. As long as your electricity and internet are still working, an Amazon Echo can help you weather the storm. Here are seven ways Alexa can help you, from giving you updates on the forecast to keeping your stomach full.
1. Alert you to severe weather
To allow notifications, open the Alexa app, then navigate to Skills > Your Skills > AccuWeather > Manage Permissions. Turn on notifications, and Alexa will automatically alert you to severe weather by chiming and pulsing yellow. This handy skill ensures you’re never caught off-guard again.
2. Check wind speed
You don’t want to pop outside to check how bad the wind is during a major storm. Luckily, the Netatmo Weather Station and Wind Gauge can get the information for you. Just make sure to install them well before inclement weather.
The ultrasonic Wind Gauge provides wind speed and wind direction measurements, and the Weather Station can give you general forecast info, as well. Since Netatmo is compatible with Alexa, that means you can simply ask your Echo for this data.
3. Call you an Uber
While fewer people are taking Ubers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes you just need to get a ride somewhere. Whether it's pouring outside or snowing, the prospect of walking to the public transit is really unappealing. Let Alexa call you an Uber.
When you enable the Uber skill on your Amazon Echo, you can say, “Alexa, ask Uber for a ride,” and an UberX will show up at your doorstep in minutes. It’s the perfect hack if you’re rushing to get out the door in the middle of a storm. But don’t forget your mask, as Uber has implemented a no mask, no ride policy.
4. Adjust the temperature
In the wintertime, it’s not unusual to experience major winter storms in New England. First thing’s first: bearing down and raising the temperature in my apartment. Not only is it nice to be toasty warm when it’s snowing outside, but I also feel more comfortable knowing that the house will be a little warmer should the power go out.
When you have a smart thermostat like our favorite, the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat, in your home, you can turn up the heat from the comfort of your couch with the help of your Echo. Just say, “Alexa, turn the living room temperature up to 72 degrees,” then enjoy your snow day.
5. Track precipitation
Trying to plan your day around the rain? With the Big Sky skill, you can easily track precipitation start and stop times simply by asking Alexa. She’ll be able to tell you when the rain or snow will end, even at specific times which is convenient for planning things like your commute.
6. Order you a pizza
In the middle of your storm-mandated Netflix marathon, you might find your stomach grumbling. As long as your local Domino’s is open, Alexa will be more than happy to order you a pizza.
Just enable the Domino’s skill, and you can ask your Echo to place an order—without ever lifting a finger. Your favorite pizza will be delivered right to your door, and you can continue your binging with a full stomach.
7. Call for help
While Alexa still can’t call 911 for you, she can get you help if you’re ever in trouble. The Ask My Buddy skill allows your Amazon Echo to send alerts to pre-set contacts, letting them know you need assistance.
Once you’ve set up your contacts in the Ask My Buddy system, all you have to do is say “Alexa, ask my buddy to alert Bob,” or “Alexa, ask my buddy to alert everyone.” Within a few seconds, help will be on its way. This skill is invaluable for seniors or people who live alone, and we can see it coming in handy during severe weather events (except if the power goes out).
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