Thursday, September 1, 2011

My suggestions for useful power devices to survive a prolonged blackout.

Now that things have settled down I'm compiling a list of necessary items for surviving a multiday power outage. N.B. Everything listed here are items I used during me 90 hour blackout
As opposed to my "Beer, salsa & chips" list this one is trying to be serious, anyone who has any suggestions/additions please add them in the comment.

1) a 16,000 mAmp i.Sound portable power pack, at 16,000 mAmps you will get at least 10 recharges of a phone/ipod (& maybe 5 of an iPad) before you need to recharge it.

2) A Wagan 400 Watt PowerDome. This Lead/Acid battery pack supplies 2 standard outlets & 2 12 volts (cigarette lighter type) outlets as well as enough juice to jump start if the car battery fails. You can run a very small TV off it for a few hours as well recharging lanterns, see below for my recommendations for those.

3) Coleman LED Rechargeable Lantern. This lantern has multiple brightness settings from dim to full. The dim supplies enough light to navigate familiar places while the full setting will provide enough lighting for multiple people to set around it & read etc. It recharges via a 'wall wart' or a 12 volt adapter so the Wagan PowerDome can recharge this. I chose a rechargeable over a propane lantern due to fire risks (if you start a fire during a blackout there may be NO help coming & I know that you need flashlights & batteries but IMO this supplies better lighting for meals & just 'sitting around in the dark' than multiple flashlights

4) Vizio 7" portable digital LED TV. The screen is small but is big enough to watch news & storm updates. It has an internal rechargeable battery which is good for about 3 hours & then you'd need to recharge it with the PowerDome. I got this one for 2 reasons 1) it has an incorporated antenna which can be flipped up & rotated to improve reception. 2) it was on sale at CostCo. If you're going to get another model make sure that it has multiple charging options (i.e. wall wart & 12 volt) and a good capacity internal battery. I'd love to find one which operates on AA's (like a very old LCD hand held analog TV I've had for about 15 years) but I haven't seen one yet.

5) iPod nano or classic or another MP3 player. There are battery powered CD players but how many of us still have a large CD collection. In this case I'd go for the nano since it also includes an FM radio (in the greater NY area there are FM all news stations). I know that the iPod touch is much more popular & has a higher capacity but the nano &/or classic will run for longer using much less power due to the 'lack' of an large LED screen. My nano ran for 20 hours before I needed to recharge it which was 3 days of listening to audiobooks. (You don't need a link to find this one). If you have a iPod touch I'd strongly suggest a Morphie JuicePack as an 'additional battery' to prolong the power supply.

Other non-powered but useful items include a cooler & blue ice packs to keep foods cold without opening the refrigerator/freezer as well as a fireplace/bbq lighter to light your stove if you're lucky enough, like we were, to have a gas range & the gas is still on,

Hopefully I can now pack most of these items away & won't need them (except for the iPod nano which I wear as a wrist watch) for years.

1 comment:

Anne Lawrence said...

When I lived in St Paul, clinics were popping up all over the place but I still felt like going home to my mom when I was sick! Do you ever feel like that? It gets so lonely being sick and living alone.