Apps to get you through a snowstorm

Posted in Telegram.com by Kim Ring

Aside from bread and milk, the one thing you need to weather a winter storm is … a smartphone.

Sure, you can monitor the weather from your phone, but it can also be useful in bringing services to your home.

An app called Shovler can be used to summon a person with a shovel to clear your walkway or driveway, brush off your car and toss down some ice melt – for a fee, of course.

Similarly, the SnoHub app allows one to order a plow to clear the driveway – and it allows the user to send a plow to a friend as a neighborly gesture.

“The app uses state of the art technology to connect homeowners with contractors to remove snow and it is all done on your iPhone or Android device. Once registered, the client and contractor will be connected in under 10 minutes,” according to a company press release from SnoHub.

The homeowner is notified of an estimated time of arrival for the plow truck and they can track the truck through the app in real time. The plow operator completes the work and sends the homeowner a photograph before their credit card is charged.

And if you’re passing time on Facebook during the storm, you can encourage the kids to get out and help a neighbor, then post a photo of their good deed to the Webster Police Department’s wall. The department announced that school will be closed Thursday and handed out an assignment for children who have the day off: Clean your rooms and under your beds, shovel for yourselves and help out a neighbor by shoveling for them.

There are grocery and take-out delivery apps which, if the businesses are open during a blizzard, can also be useful. Power outages can be reported via the Nationalgridus.com website.

Since power outages are expected, an external battery for the phone might be a good purchase. Some of the larger batteries can power other devices, as well. The batteries can power the phone for hours.

And of course there are informational accounts on Twitter that can keep you up to date during the storm.

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