How To Secure And Continue Using Cryptocurrency Before, During, And After A Hurricane
Currently Hurricane Dorian is a threat to the East Coast of the United States, and people from Florida all the way up to the Carolinas are on guard and readying for potential impacts. As of tonight Dorian has reached Category 5 intensity with winds nearing 160 mph, and this is the most intense possible hurricane. Preparedness is the key to surviving a hurricane and protecting life and property, including stocking up on water and non-perishable food, putting up hurricane shutters, using sandbags to stop a flood from coming into your home, purchasing flashlights and radios, and perhaps evacuating if you live on the coastline.
If you are a cryptocurrency user it is also important to have a cryptocurrency preparedness plan in place before a hurricane strikes.
The most important thing is to ensure that your cryptocurrency private keys are secure before the hurricane strikes. It is not guaranteed that your computer and phone will survive the storm, especially if it is a Major Hurricane. If your computer or phone where you had your cryptocurrency wallet is lost, and you didn’t record the private key, then you will lose your cryptocurrency forever.
Also, it is important to unplug your computer and phone, and to at least use a power monitor, to prevent your electronic devices from burning up during power surges and outages even if there are only tropical storm force winds in your area.
There are several options for physically securing your private key before a hurricane. You can take a picture of the private key with an old polaroid camera, the sort of cameras that print out photos immediately but do not record anything digitally. It is important to never take a picture of your private key with a digital camera or phone, since it would then be susceptible to hacking.
This polaroid picture can then be laminated to ensure that it will not be damaged by water. If you cannot find an old polaroid camera, since indeed the new polaroid cameras are digital and not safe, then you can meticulously write down the private key on a piece of paper and then laminate it. Make sure that you correctly write down every letter and number in the private key, since if you mess up one letter it will not work.
Keep this piece of paper on your person during the hurricane. Perhaps after the danger passes and you recover your cryptocurrency wallet you can destroy the paper with the key, although it is a good idea to have such a piece of paper in the event of any other calamity. This paper with the key should be kept in a secure location where no one could ever find it, if you are going to keep it.
Another option is using a Blockchain wallet. When you create the wallet you can link it to an email address, so there will be an email that you can come back to after the hurricane that has a login link, and you will be able to login from any computer or phone. Make sure you use an extremely strong password though, and do not forget the password. This option has some risk since the Blockchain wallet uses 3rd party servers, but so far Blockchain wallets have had a solid track record for many years.
As for thumb drives and hardware wallets, they could be inundated during a hurricane and are not recommended.
If you are a cryptocurrency user who has a significant amount of money you may want to use your cryptocurrency during the aftermath of the hurricane. Often electricity and internet is down for weeks or even months after an intense hurricane, so you will have to get a self-sufficient source of electricity and internet. A gas generator can be used, but perhaps far easier is a solar charger, which you can simply put outside to charge up, and then you connect your phone to it.
As for internet, you can get satellite internet, although keep in mind this can be an extremely expensive option. Oftentimes cell phone networks come back, although in a slower capacity, earlier than anything else, so waiting a few days for 2G or 3G to come back is perhaps a better option. That being said, if money is no object then satellite internet would be the way to go.
This is assuming of course any of your electronic devices survive, there is a possibility that all electronic devices would be destroyed by inundation during a severe hurricane, and then the only option would be to wait until local stores re-open to buy new electronics. Therefore, it is important to keep cash on your person, and put this cash in a water tight wallet.