We are writing this a few days after the recent earthquake and before the anticipated impact of hurricane Irene here in NYC. We admit, we are a little anxious even though we have braved far worse storms while living in Florida. What frightens us is just how much we are at the mercy of the city and our landlord living in an apartment, unlike at our home in the Florida 'burbs.
Back in Florida we had a pantry full of non-perishables and two large generators to keep things going should we lose power. We also had several large battery backup units for all of our important tech. Unfortunately, we don't have the ability to prepare ourselves in the same manner in our tiny NYC apartment, so the best we can do is stock up our freezer (food will last longer should the power go out), grab some non-perishables, and make sure we have lighting and the ability to keep our mobiles charged. In the quest for being prepared with lighting and the ability to charge electronics and stay in the loop should we lose the internet, we have brought together these 10 solutions:
1) Eton Turbodyne Series: This series of electronics branded with the American Red Cross are obviously well suited for emergencies. They all feature hand cranks, so no worries about power or battery shortages and are made of sturdy aluminum. Prices vary between $15 to $80
2) Surefire 6P LED Flashlight : This bright little light received flying colours in our test lab and is a great light to always have on hand especially considering its small size. $80
3) BoGo Solar Powered Flashlight: This LED flashlight as its name implies charges via the sun. One great thing about this device is that it drains very slowly, which means you can charge it during a sunny day and then stow it for later use. $39
4) Freeplay Kito LED Flashlight: This economical hand crank powered flashlight gives you an hour of power for 60 seconds of cranking. $25
5) Joby GorillaTorch: Flexibility is the key with this flashlight which has bendable limbs and magnetic feet making it easy to wrap around existing light fixtures or anything else for that matter. $30
6) Kaito KA500YEL Voyager Emergency Radio: This hand crank powered radio also has an LED flashlight and the ability to charge smartphones via USB. $50
7) Maglite 3D LED: This heavy duty LED Maglite flashlight gives you "spot-to-flood" control of its adjustable LED beam and is a great all purpose flashlight to have around the house. $31
8) Surefire M3LT: Is an ultra high-output 4-die LED emitter with a powerful, focused beam in a package that is less than 9 inches long. Although it is rather powerful we don't think we can quite stomach the price. $550
9) Eton American Red Cross Solarlink Digital Radio: This little device has it all, cell phone charger, radio, flashlight, siren and can be either solar powered or via hand crank. $70
10) Sylvania LED Power Failure Light: This LED nightlight turns on automatically at dark and is 25% brighter than other emergency lights. Should the power go out, the single LED will flash, and the device will work as a flashlight lasting up to 7 hours. These lights are inexpensive and are great for positioning in strategic areas in the house. $13
What tech do you depend on in an emergency?