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© Oleg Prolat |
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Please don’t run outside and livestream hurricanes

It’s nice to know that you can always use your phone to contact help in an emergency. It’s not like the old days when you’d have to hike to get help or hope for someone to pass by. New phones can even contact emergency service and loved ones if you’re in a car crash and unable to access your phone.

But even the best emergency features won’t work if your phone doesn’t have a signal. That’s where satellite tech comes in. As long as you have a view of the sky, you can place a call or text. Apple’s new iPhone 14 incorporates satellite tech to have a signal anywhere. Tap or click here to check out more on Apple’s latest iPhone.

Millions of people across Florida were without power after Hurricane Ian. It’s one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., causing flooding and trapping people in their homes. And the source of some of the closest hurricane footage may surprise you.

The new breed of ‘reporters’

It seems you don’t need a journalism degree or training to report on the news anymore. Anyone with a smartphone can shoot video and record commentary on any event.

Live streamers are supplanting reporters with social media accounts. This phenomenon is not new, but we’ve seen prime examples during Hurricane Ian. “I wanted to give an accurate portrayal,” TikTok user @golfpantsman told NBC News in a phone interview.

While having a front-row seat to the devastation can be informative for locals and people preparing for the storm, this is a dangerous practice. These live streamers are not professional storm chasers.

Floridians were advised to leave the lower areas before flooding, but some stayed to record the events. While there may be good intentions, we can’t help but wonder if they’re mostly doing it for the views.

RELATED: Tech how-to: How to automatically alert loved ones in an emergency

Is going viral worth risking your life?

Social media clout is all the rage and has been for some time. People do silly or dangerous things to get more views, likes and subscribers. A recent TikTok challenge involved cooking chicken in NyQuil. Can you believe it? Tap or click here to hear Kim’s take.

It’s not just a few thousand viewers watching these hurricane livestreams. Major news outlets are using the footage rather than sending their reporters into danger.

TikTok’s livestreaming function can be used to share anything from a local soccer game to events that affect the entire world. Anyone with a phone can consider themselves a journalist of sorts.

In case of emergency

Please don’t go running into danger for the sake of social media fame. And always be prepared for the worst, especially when you’re living in an area that’s prone to natural disaster events.

If you or anyone you know is in the area, we put together a list of apps that can help during an emergency. From first aid tips to the latest weather conditions, these apps will help prepare you and get you through the worst. Tap or click here for eight essential apps you don’t want to be without in an emergency.

Keep reading

Five ways tech can help you feel safer at home

18 must-have items that help you survive any emergency

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