October 13, 2016
Before we get to the gadgets, we also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the need of those impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Two such organizations will be assisting those affected, Operation USA and Doctors Without Borders, both of whom could use all of our support and attention.
Last week, many of us had the displeasure of meeting Hurricane Matthew firsthand, a historical force of nature that took lives, homes, and parts of cities. Weather systems like these are no joke, and there’s a reason why government officials and first responders give explicit recommendations to evacuate, stay indoors, avoid flooded roads, and adhere to curfews.
Regardless of the choices people make, we strive to stay informed, keep our devices powered, and be able to communicate with those around us.
According to Ready.gov, the following are basic supplies that should be in your disaster prep kit:
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Comfort and Communication
While the basics are helpful, they are still the basics for a reason. They will help keep you informed on the latest updates from the likes of NOAA, but the less-basic things will help get you through the worst of it. And then, of course, there are the things to help us out after disaster strikes.
Where To Find Them
Acquapodkit – $20
LifeStraw Go 2-Stage – $50
ZeroLemon Charger – $60
Motorola TALKABOUT T480 – $70
Poseidon – $100
GoTenna – $150
Generac semi-trash water pump – $400
Goal Zero Yeti 400 – $460
Generac Homelink 6500e – $1800
Regardless of the situation, there are numerous apps to help keep you informed and alerted. The following are focused specifically on weather related emergencies:
Like the various Red Cross apps, FEMA’s official app focuses on both emergency preparation and alerts.
From Weather Underground, this app is both visually impressive and as helpful as the NOAA app, but is designed to simply track storms.
For hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, and wildfire, Red Cross has an app for each. These will help you prepare before, during, and after a situation occurs, while alerting you to the nearest shelter and updates.
This free app will show you the latest path of a hurricane, flood warnings, and other weather related warnings. This unofficial NOAA app is available on iOS and Android.
Certainly not the worst outcome, but one nobody wants to face, natural disasters can lead to a loss of property and things. With Home Inventory ($30), you can track and record important information about your valuables and use this for insurance purposes.
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