It’s safe to say that everyone will experience a natural disaster in their lifetime, whether it’s a prolonged power outage from a thunderstorm to something worse. It’s prudent to prepare your vehicle and your home with items to help you get through a lack of running water, heat, electricity, light, communication, and even entertainment.
Hikers and campers are familiar with the technology available to ‘rough it’ and survive, but not everyone is an outdoor enthusiast. Other than the basic food, water, and first aid kit, here are some techy things to borrow from the campers and backpackers to help survive a disaster.
Flashlight or Headlamp
Every household should keep at least one flashlight stashed in the home and in the car. Keep one in an easy-to-access place that you can get to in case of sudden darkness.
Avoid USB flashlights because you may be out of power for a prolonged period. Instead, opt for one that operates on solar energy or AA, AAA, or lithium batteries. Change the batteries as often as you change the ones in your smoke detector. Some flashlights even have tactical features that perform other tasks.
For more severe disasters, consider a headlamp. Unlike a flashlight, a headlamp will free up your hands for other duties an emergency may call for. For the very best, look for a waterproof one with 120 lumens.
A radio is a crucial item to have in your survival kit. It allows you to stay on top of situations through emergency broadcasts and national alerts. Make sure the radio you have can receive NOAA broadcasts as well as AM and FM bands.
A crank radio will do, but if you can afford it, look for one that is solar-powered, uses batteries, and has a hand crank as a backup. Some emergency radios can even double as a charging station for your smartphone and other USB-powered devices.
Purifying Water Bottle
Keep in mind that humans can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without water. Water is life’s liquid, and a lack of it may be more likely than you realize. If a disaster is too spontaneous, you may not have the time or forethought to stock up. And, your local store may sell out in a community-wide emergency.
That being said, do keep a supply of drinking water stashed in your disaster kit. But also consider adding a water purifying bottle. With this techy gadget, all you need to do is fill the bottle with any water, push a button, and pour out purified water.
If you are looking for other water purification options, then there are certainly plenty to choose from. From active carbon filters to osmosis filters, with all the tech that’s available on the market today, we are almost spoiled for choice. Just keep in mind that weight/portability and cost are probably your most important factors.
Your smartphone is probably the one device you have that serves the most purposes. Besides connecting you to civilization, a smartphone has various auxiliary features–from a flashlight to a GPS. During a night of darkness, it’s nice to have access to games and videos.
Every household should have at least one power bank. It’s like a huge portable battery that can charge USB devices such as your smartphone. Get one that has plenty of charging capacity, and keep it charged while there’s electricity.
Equipment For Navigation
If things really go south, and you need to head out of civilization, then you will want to be prepared. This means not only having the right clothing and shelter but also fundamentally knowing how to navigate your way around.
The simplest option in this day and age is to use the GPS on your phone or maybe you have a tough GPS watch? That will do to start off with, but the problem with GPS is that they don’t always work in bad weather or in heavy trees. So, you want to have an old-school compass with you as well, and a map of the area you are heading into of course!
Although they can happen anywhere, some places are more prone to disasters that cause widespread power outages, like storms and earthquakes. It can take crews and linemen days to get everything up and running.
During these times, although you can’t run it constantly, even a small backup generator can be a lifesaver. Generators are available that are powered by gasoline or solar that range from 100 watts to 5,000 and upwards. A 500-watt easily allow you to keep a lamp and a laptop charged, and help save the food in your refrigerator and freezer.