Growing up in beautiful Miami, Florida; all anybody could ever talk about at the beginning of June is hurricane season. Are you prepared? Did you stock up on plywood, water and batteries? For all our readers living across the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard, we want you to be prepared and let you know the four gadgets that any 2009 hurricane kit needs...
Besides the staples like batteries, a radio and a flashlight; here are four really useful gadgets you might be missing in your hurricane emergency kit. Readers, if you were tipped in on a lesser-known hurricane preparedness staple, let us know in the comments!
- Your old tiny, trusty, portable, battery-operated TV from last season needs a 2009 upgrade. The national switch to digital television broadcast programming means that not only does your living room set need an upgrade, but your emergency screen does too. You can buy portable battery-operated digital TVs to catch the new signal, no converter box needed. South Florida news site Sun Sentinel reccomends Accurian's 7-inch TV, (around $150) and the LCDDigital 7-inch TV ($250)
- If those sets are a little rich for your blood right now, you might just want to pick up a storm radio (around $100). They're designed to pick up National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather broadcasts instead of Top 40 radio. You'll get non-stop up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, travel condition reports, and safety warnings.
- You might not know that after power goes out and then is restored to a neighborhood, you're likely to see abnormal power spikes. Protect all of your in-home gizmos with surge protectors after a big storm. Even if you're already plugged in to power strips, you might like to use hurricane season as your reminder to replace old ones, as their effectiveness lessens over time.
- If you've decided not to eschew landlines from your life for their unparralled usefulness in emergencies, you're already a step ahead. But you might still be in hot water if all your handsets are cordless. A traditional corded telephone is the only one that will work in a power outage.