Friday, October 19, 2018

10 Tech Items to Have on Hand During a Disaster

In the case of the recent hurricane/flooding/etc. here are some tech items to consider having on hand to use during a disaster:

  1. Personal locator beacon.  Pros: you can signal for rescue from this device, some let you send 'I'm safe' and other messages to people when phones and other communications fail.  Cons: expensive device and you need to pay for a subscription for it to stay active.
  2. CB radio.  Pros: these radios are cheap and can be used by anyone, no need for a HAM license.  Cons: needs to have power source, range may be limited due to terrain.
  3. Satellite phone.  Pros: will work when there are no phone lines/cell signal.  Cons: expensive device, expensive plans, may not be able to connect to the satellite for a variety of reasons.
  4. Drone.  Pros: fun hobby, easy to learn how to use with practice, can give you a 'bird's eye view' of your area.  Cons: need to have a power source for charging, can give away your location, device can fly away and get lost.
  5. Solar charger.  Pros: with sunlight it can be used to charge your electronic devices.  Cons: need sun.  Also, while the prices have come down on these items, it is still a good outlay of money for a device you may rarely if ever use.
  6. BioLite camp stove.  Pros: a cool camp stove that burns sticks and twigs then uses energy from the fire you make to charge your devices (yeah, really).  Cons: again, an outlay of money for an item you may never use.
  7. goTenna.  Pros: allows your cell phone to use texting and GPS when there is no cell service.  Cons: a somewhat spendy device that is very new to the market; limited range.
  8. AquaPodKit.  Pros: a giant, food-grade plastic bag that turns your bathtub into a storage place for 65 gallons of water to use during a disaster; relatively inexpensive.  Cons: you need to have a bit of notice that there will be a disaster so you have time to fill it up, can't use your bathtub/shower when this is in use.
  9. Composting toilet.  Pros: an excellent, sanitary toilet to use during a disaster or anywhere else that conventional toilets won't work.  Cons: expensive, needs much more attention than a regular toilet system.
  10. Solar garden lights.  Pros: inexpensive, available at many stores (these are usually used as garden pathway lights which collect solar energy during the day then light up at night), can be brought inside in the evening to provide light during a power outage.  Cons: need sunlight to charge, not as bright as a conventional flashlight or lantern.

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