Our electronic gadgets make life easier in a lot of ways. Buat when power sources falter, as they do for nearly 2 million people in the United States after massive storms and hurricanes hit, digital communication tools can become useless at a crucial time.
Whether the problem is losing the ability to talk and text on a cellphone or suddenly being without news sources when the juice in a tablet or laptop fizzles out, our increasingly digital lives mean dealing with darkness and rough weather aren't our only concerns when the power's out.
Nothing is going to make an extended power outage easy. But here are 5 items to consider should you find yourself powered down by Mother Nature.
Listening to the radio for the news might seem decidedly old-school for the Twitter-and-tablet obsessed news junkie of the digital age. But when all else fails, the tried-and-true radio waves can be a valuable way to keep up with local weather and other news in the event of an outage, especially when you can power it up when all your other electronics fail.
The New Buffalo Corporation Hand Crank Emergency Radio is a multi-function palm-sized FM Radio with a weather band feature, an 85 db emergency alarm, a cell charger and an LED light than runs on power created by the hand crank.
Hand crank power ensures you always have enough juice when the power is not available. Keep an Emergency Radio in the emergency supply kit in the car and house, and one in the tent for use at the campsite. A switch on the front of the Emergency Radio lets you easily alternate between the FM radio and weather band features. The weather band radio connects to a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.
This Emergency Radio can also charge basic cell phones, power an 85 decibel emergency alarm and works as a flashlight too. Hand cranking for just one minute will provide up to 30 minutes of light, 10 minutes of radio, and 3 minutes of emergency alarm. Crank for 3 minutes of cranking time can power a cell phone for 2-10 minutes.
When communication is vital, one more phone call or text message could be critical. So, whether it's just recharging long enough to do that, or hoping to literally weather the storm for longer, a backup charger can keep you plugged in (figuratively, if not literally).
The Rockford Portable Power Source/Mini Jump Starter is the smallest Jump Starter and electronic device power supply (only 6” x 2-7/8” x 1”) available. The built-in Nano Lithium batteries can hold a charge for up to a year and not only will it jump-start any car, truck, motorcycle or power-sports vehicle multiple times, but also provides hours of backup power to all of your electronic devices.
Weighs less than a pound (14 oz.) and small enough to fit in your pocket, you can take it with you anywhere and remain confident that you will be able to start your vehicle. It even has a built in flashlight with S.O.S patterns for emergency use.
You can also use the Charge Xpress charger to recharge your battery charger with solar power; so as long as you've got a dry spot and at least a brief break from the rain, Mother Nature can help bail you out.
Of course, you should have flashlights and fresh batteries around.
But finding them in the dark can be it's own challenge. And, sometimes, you just need a steady source of light, not one you have to tote around. There are battery powered lights like the Coast EAL12 LED Emergency Light/Lantern featuring an array of high-quality LEDs in white and red, and a built-in hanger enabling this LED lantern to be used in a variety of situations for both recreational and emergency use.
There also are slightly more exotic products such as a 21 LED Waterproof Flex Light with Magnet by Astro Pneumatic. The base magnet and hook ensure ease of mounting and it is great to have in case of emergencies.
The potential uses of this light are endless. It can be bent, folded, and wrapped/hooked around objects. The user can place it on a flat surface for use as a freestanding light, or adhere it to most metal surfaces for convenient use. The bright light beams exactly where you need it to, providing maximum visibility.
This light is composed with waterproof silicone, and has 3 different settings (7 LED Strip, 21 LED and 21 LED flashing). These settings can be activated by pressing the on/off button. This light is perfect for hands-free use and requires 3 AAA batteries.
If you need to power up something a little bigger than a phone, a power inverter might be a useful tool. If you want to be able to use a laptop or desktop computer during an outage, this may be the way to go.
A power Inverter can be used to convert DC power from your car battery into AC juice that can be used for things usually plugged in to a wall outlet.
A popular one is the DieHard inverter with 850 Peak Watts, 425 Continuous Watts, 2 AC Outlets and HD Battery Clamps making it useful for a variety of situations.
Generators may seem a bit scary but are actually easy to use. Briggs & Stratton 1150 Watt Power Boss Generator is a long running and reliable tools that can keep anyone in control of their power needs.
With increasing home power outages, no longer are generators for contractors and campers alone. In fact, a generator can keep a family protected from harm and save thousands of dollars in damage.
Reference: South Jersey Tools - Be In the Know
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Which hurricane terms do you know? Here is a great comprehensive list of terms.
By international agreement, tropical cyclone is the general term for all cyclonic circulations originating over tropical waters, classified by form and intensity as follows: