Relatively speaking, the last few years have been tame on the hurricane front. But according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year’s season should heat up, with as many as four hurricanes forecast to hit the Atlantic states. And as the recent flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in California prove, it doesn’t take a hurricane to cause an emergency.
Now is the time to check your emergency kit and ensure all your supplies are stocked up and ready to go. While you’re at it, it’s also wise to upgrade your gear with some of the newest emergency tech out there. These seven devices will help keep you warm, dry, and powered up.
MSR Guardian Water Purifier
Pumping 2.5 liters of water per minute while filtering out viruses, bacteria, protozoa and particulates, the MSR Guardian Water Purifier is a real life-saver. Used by the U.S. military to keep its service members free from waterborne illnesses, the $349 pump might be on the expensive side, but it’s hard to put a price on drinkable water. Indeed, access to potable water is one of the biggest concerns in disaster-stricken areas, so investing in this self-cleaning filter is a smart move. And with a cartridge life of up to 10,000 liters, it will last you much longer than one storm.
Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger
Dead car batteries can be an unexpected side-effect of bad weather. In the winter, using your window defrosters, heaters, and other electronics will zap a charge much faster than in the warmer months. The $59 Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger does double duty, reviving dead vehicles and juicing up smartphones and tablets with a 10,000mAh battery. Small enough to store in a glove box, the portable charger has two USB ports and a short jumper cable to attach to the positive and negative posts on a car battery, making it able to jump 3L gas or 2.5L diesel vehicle engines as easily as iPhones or Android handsets.
Not just for the great outdoors, camp stoves like the BioLite PizzaDome come in handy in prolonged power outages. Using twigs, wood, or firewood as fuel, this $370 multi-purpose device provides heat, has a large cooktop for making food and boiling water, and has a five watt on-demand electric outlet. That means it can charge a phone, tablet, or other USB device while grilling up burgers. BioLite has been making power-packing campfire devices for years, but this one has a grill-to-boil lever that lets users modify the flame for their needs. It also features a lid and a ceramic pizza stone.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
When the power goes out, there are only two ways to get it back: Wait for the utility company to fix the problem, or turn on a generator. The $460 Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator may not pack the most powerful punch, but it’s a clean solution that apartment- and condo-dwellers can use without fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Featuring a 400Wh battery, the Yeti 400 is a low-power solution designed for charging phones, tablets, and laptops, or even operating smaller televisions and CPAP machines. The “solar” in the name is a little misleading — you have to buy Goal Zero photovoltaic cells to use this device to harvest electricity from the sun. But if you make that extra investment, it can be a smart way to ride out any storm.
Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini
There’s only so much fumbling around with a smartphone camera flash you can do before your handset’s battery dies. Save your handset’s power for communication and light your darkened home with a $60 Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini instead. Built for backpackers, this 210 lumen lantern is small and light. On its lowest “night light” setting, it can last for a whopping 500 hours without recharging. The secret to its longevity is adjustable brightness and direction — most camping lanterns throw their light in 360 degrees, but the Lighthouse Mini can be switched to just direct it 180 degrees. With a loop for hanging and collapsible legs, it’s designed to be put anywhere it will cast a good glow. And with a 3,000mAh battery and USB outlet, it can also be used to top off a mobile device — especially valuable if you’ve killed your phone after using it as a flashlight.
Technically not full of technology, the $95 Preppi GoBox is laden with every other must-have for surviving difficult situations, like a mylar emergency space blanket, three days of food rations, safety matches, and even playing cards (so you don’t die of boredom). Small enough to fit on a bookshelf, the one-person emergency kit is a must-have for any bug-out bag. And if you need a bag to carry it all in, the $145 Prepster Lite or $375 Prepster Luxe have you covered (And packing more gear, too.)
Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather Alert Radio
When bad weather hits, the big question is, when will it end? Before weather apps and Twitter entered the scene, gadgets like the $69 Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather Alert Radio answered this question — and they still do. Relaying the news even when cellular networks go down, this emergency radio can be charged through integrated solar panels or its hand crank, which comes in handy when its ultra-bright LED flashlight is put to work. Lasting up to 32 hours of normal use, the NOAA weather alert radio has a 2,600mAh battery and a AA-battery backup option. Its SOS beacon has Morse code capabilities, and with an ultrasonic dog whistle, it can help search and rescue teams find you even in the dark.
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