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 and South. Plus, just about everyone is subject to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms from time to time.
When severe weather is headed in your direction, you’re generally forced to hunker down at home (unless you’re supposed to evacuate, in which case, please do so). As long as your electricity and internet are still working, though, your Amazon Echo can help you weather the storm!
The following are seven ways Alexa can help you during severe weather, from giving you updates on the forecast to keeping your stomach full.
Don’t have an Amazon Echo yet? Get one for $99.99
1. Alert you to severe weather
Want to know when severe weather is headed your way? The AccuWeather skill can send you notifications about these types of weather events—but first, you have to enable notifications on your Echo.
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
Sure, you could pop outside to check how bad the wind is, but that’s really not a great idea 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. Cool, right?
Get the Netatmo Weather Station on Amazon for $149.99 and the Wind Gauge for $99.99
3. Call you an Uber
City dwellers are probably all too familiar with this struggle: It’s pouring outside and you need to get to work, but the prospect of walking to the public transit is really unappealing. Next time this happens, just 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.
4. Adjust the temperature
Any time there’s a winter storm bearing down on New England, the first thing I do is raise 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!
Get an Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Smart Thermostat on Amazon for $169
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, letting you get on with your life! You can also ask about the chance of precipitation during a certain time, such as your commute or for that open-air concert you’re going to.
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).
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.