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8 ways an Amazon Echo device can help you in severe weather

Alexa can help you out as the storm rages outside.

A second-gen Echo Show 5 displays the current weather conditions in Florida. Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

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Severe weather like tornadoes, wildfires, and floods can strike at a moment’s notice. In some cases, you may not have time to leave your home. With devices like the Amazon Echo Dot and Echo Show 5, you can receive realtime Alexa weather alerts when severe weather strikes.

But Alexa weather warnings aren’t the only way your Echo devices and Amazon’s smart assistant can help you during the next big storm. From frozen pipes and to making emergency calls, here are 8 ways Alexa and Echo devices can help in severe weather.

1. Alert you to severe weather

Weather radar map
Credit: AdrianHancu / Getty Images

Get up-to-date weather alerts whenever storms are near.

Echo speakers and displays alert you to storms using Alexa weather alerts. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert,” and she’ll let you know the next time there’s a thunderstorm, hurricane, or other serious weather event headed your way.

If you ever want to turn off Alexa weather alerts, just tell her so.

2. Call your emergency contacts

How to set up Alexa calling in the Amazon Alexa app
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Make emergency call to friends and family with Alexa via an Echo device or the Alexa app.

You may be wondering, “Can Alexa call 911?” While she can’t call first responders, she can get in touch with an emergency contact if you ever need help.

To set this up, open the Alexa app. Tap Communicate > Contacts. Then, tap the three stacked dotted lines in the upper right-hand corner > Emergency Contact to select a phone number and complete the process.

Once Alexa enabled, she will attempt to call and text the number when you ask her to “call for help.” Just keep in mind that this feature only works when your Echo device is powered on and connected to Wi-Fi.

3. Get the exact weather forecast at your home

You can get the full forecast without ever stepping outside by using a smart device like the Tempest Weather System, which works with Alexa. This smart weather tracking device mounts to your roof and reports data specific to your exact location like temperature, solar radiation, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, dew point, lightning strikes, and rainfall.

With an Echo speaker nearby, you can ask Alexa to check the forecast with Tempest to get the exact down-to-the-minute weather alerts for your home.

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4. Adjust the temperature

The Nest Learning Thermostat displays the temperature indoors.
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

A smart thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat (pictured) work with Alexa for voice control.

In the winter, it’s not unusual to experience major storms in New England and other northern states, and one of the first things I do when it starts to snow is raise the temperature in my home. 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 Nest Learning 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.

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5. Plan your route during evacuations

Whether you're leaving ahead of the storm or have to evacuate at a moment's notice, Alexa can help you plan your drive and avoid traffic.

You can ask her questions like, “Alexa, how is the traffic to the airport?” You can also ask her to send the information to your phone's map app, allowing you to see traffic and other important travel alerts.

6. Shut off your water to prevent frozen pipes

When a blizzard is blowing through or the temperatures drop to single digits, there’s always a chance that the pipes in your home freeze. Even worse, your pipes could burst, leaving you with a big (and expensive) mess on your hands. Luckily, Alexa and the Moen Flo Smart Water Monitor can work together to prevent this from happening.

The smart monitor attaches right to your home’s main water line, and it uses advanced sensors to detect leaks and monitor the ambient temperature of your pipes.

If it senses a problem, the smart device will send you a smartphone notification, and you can ask Alexa to shut off your water before things freeze over.

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7. Track storms during hurricane season

Satelite imagery of a hurricane over Florida.
Credit: Getty Images

Amazon Echo speakers and smart displays can help during hurricane season.

If you live in a region that gets hit by hurricanes, your Echo can help you track the latest storms and give you the latest forecast with the free Hurricane Center skill.

Once enabled, all you have to say is, “Alexa, what are the current storms?” This skill can also give you facts and historical tidbits about tropical storms and hurricanes.

8. Show you live radar

Trying to figure out whether the storm is going to pass over your house? If you have an Echo smart display, such as the Echo Show 8, you can view live radar with the help of the Big Sky skill.

This popular skill provides all sorts of weather information, including hourly temperature, wind, and precipitation data.

You can also use the skill to set up custom Alexa weather alerts, so she can give you advanced notice if there’s a thunderstorm, freezing temperatures, high winds, and more.

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