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Mobile beats Israel’s December storm

Kenny Sahr: You don't appreciate the wonders of modern communication until a big storm knocks it out
Snow on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road, Thursday, December 12, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Snow on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road, Thursday, December 12, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

That was an interesting weekend! When the electricity is out, no phone lines, no ADSL, you can’t even get the refrigerator or microwave to work, one thing works fine. And the winner is – MOBILE!

The storm of December proves how vital mobile is in our lives. I was lucky – in Herzlville (Herzliya), we had electricity throughout most of the weekend. It went on and off, but that was good enough for me. My Bezeq/Netvision internet connection was down during the worst of the storm.

When hail was falling from the sky, my mobile connection worked like a charm. When it was time to call my parents in sunny Boca Raton, Florida, I called them on my cellphone (for free thanks to the great mobile deals we have in Israel). The landline failed and mobile passed with flying colors. The connection was excellent considering the circumstances – thunder, lightning and hail. Every home has that one spot that works great for mobile calls even under the most extreme weather.

Isn’t it strange to connect your pc to your smartphone via wifi tethering to get internet? It’s yet another sign of mobile’s dominance in our lives. I saw the incredible weather photos on Times of Israel thanks to my mobile connection. Had I been totally reliant on a landline internet connection, I would’ve given up and hunted for an AM radio!

I learned a few lessons from this storm and hope these tips can help you too.

Before the storm comes, make sure your mobile devices are charged; for Mom’s sake and yours! My Galaxy Tab docking station and USB hub (for my Galaxy Mini) make it easy to keep juice in my devices.

If you’re planning on downloading TV shows or music, do it before the storm comes. I listen to a weekly Space Age Pop nostalgia show called The Buddies Lounge and am glad I downloaded it ahead of time. The same goes for anything that depends on “old school” pipes. Get a laundry in before the lights go out. As cool as mobile is, it can’t do laundries..

Who needs a flashlight when you have a smartphone? When the lights went out, I used my smartphone to find my way to the circuit breaker.

When my stereo didn’t work and I was desperate for music, I could use my smartphone to stream to my Logitech wireless speaker. Sky.FM and Jazz Radio stream at 128k for free. But be careful – after an hour of mobile streaming, you’ll hit your 3GB monthly limit.

One thing my mobile connection can’t do is make espresso. Mobile makineta, anyone? Maybe one day our mobile phones will be able to backup our electricity, make coffee and microwave a pizza.

When the lights are out and nothing else works, you can count on your smartphone and tablet to save the day. They saved my weekend. The storm of December 2013 in Israel proves how mobile will continue to change our lives. Mobile – don’t stay home without it!

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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