Friday, November 2, 2012

How to Stay Connected During and After a Disaster

On Monday half of the continental United States was affected by one of the largest storms in U.S. history.  Superstorm Sandy caused mass devastation across the Eastern seaboard, with New Jersey and New York suffering the most damage and loss of life.  The unprecedented storm and its aftermath remind us of the importance of emergency preparedness.  When the power goes out you lose the ability to light and heat your home, cook food, filter water and communicate.  In a situation like this cellphones, smart phones and laptops can become your only way to stay connected, especially if you have to evacuate.  Unfortunately these items become nothing more than paper weights if they lose their charge. 

In the event of a disaster, natural or otherwise, having a portable source of back-up power will be necessary to keep your electronic devices charged and operating.  One option is a solar charger and back-up battery pack like the ReVIVE Solar ReStore XL+.  This charger can be charged weeks in advance and will hold its charge to be used as needed.  You can keep the charger mounted in a window year round or charge via USB before the power goes down.  Once charged, the ReStore XL+ can charge seven smart phones or 3 tablets to full capacity.  It also has a built-in LED flashlight that can light in full beam or S.O.S mode for up to 50 consecutive hours and a carabiner so it can be attached to a backpack.  Another option is the ReVIVE Trans4m, which is a compact, pocket sized, versatile charger that can charge a smart phone from a 9V battery, AA batteries, unfold to charge from a DC outlet or an AC outlet.  Either of these are portable, durable, compact options that will become necessary items in an emergency kit.

In the aftermath of Sandy, those impacted are now confronted with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and for many their homes.  If you would like to help the victims of Sandy, you can donate to the Red Cross here.  Remember that thousands of homes have been lost and millions are still without power and they all need our help.

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