Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Growing up in California where the possibility of an earthquake was always imminent and now living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and subject to occasional freak winter snowstorms and summer thunderstorms that knock out power for days, I’ve learned that you can never be too prepared. My view on emergency preparedness has served us well and we weathered days without power fairly well.
How did we do it? Here are 5 of my emergency essentials that we relied on while without power for the past 120+ hours.
Flashlight – When the power went out, we pulled out our collection of flashlights out of our drawer. I prefer flashlights with LED bulbs since they have stronger beams and draw less battery power. My kids like compact flashlights such as the Mini MagLites but we also have a Etón Red Cross BLACKOUT buddy emergency LED flashlight/nightlight on hand. The Etón Blackout Buddy ($14.99 from Radio Shack) is a device that we can keep plugged in at all times, even when there isn’t a blackout. Eton plugs in and recharges from the wall outlet while acting like a night light and has dual features in its compact size. It will automatically light its 3 bright LEDs so it can be used as an emergency flashlight or act as a single LED nightlight.
Portable Power Supply – One of the worst parts of power outages is not being able to charge your cell phone to stay in touch with family members and loved ones. The more you have the better. My favorite is the iGo Charge Anywhere because it plugs into an outlet and has two USB slots to allow for charging two phones or devices at a time. I also have the Enercell® 2400Ah Portable Power Bank and models by Energizer since portable power can be quickly depleted with prolonged electrical outages.
Walkie Talkie — In extreme emergencies, cell coverage will either be spotty or nonexistent so it’s a good idea to have an alternate means of communication. I like the Motorola Talkabout MJ270R because they’re not only walkie talkies, but also have built in NOAA weather radio so you can monitor the latest inclement weather and can be charged via mini USB through the wall, computer, or car.
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