Florida old-timers may recall how it used to be after hurricanes struck. It might have meant candles, lots of sweating and a virtual news blackout. Well, except for tinny little transistor radios.
That was then.
Science and technology march on and thanks to Google searches Florida Weekly found nifty devices that will help you get through the dark times after the next hurricane.
Google sure as heck wasnt around when Hurricane Donna slammed into Southwest Florida in 1960.
Neither were the high-tech gizmos Florida Weeklys Google search uncovered on the internet, which also wasnt around in 1960.
Clean water is the most essential need for all humans. If a hurricane knocks out water systems and stocks of bottled water dwindle what can one do for more water?
Fortunately, science has found ways. Florida Weekly found helpful devices with a Google search.
For example, there is something called an Etekcity Portable Water Filtration Device. In May it could be purchased for $18.99 through Amazon Prime.
Preparedness is critical before hurricanes.
One way to prepare is stocking up on clean water. Our Google search found a product on Amazon called Datrex Emergency Water Pouches for disaster or survival. They come in pouches and the price range is $10.20 to $89.99, depending on quantity.
Finally, here is this tip from weather.gov under the category Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages, And Floods:
Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case the power goes out. If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice will also supply drinking water.
This Isnt A Crank Idea
Hand-cranked radios might sound like something from the early days of automobiles when one needed a crank starter.
But a quick Google search shows hand-cranked radios can be useful during and after hurricanes.
Florida Weekly found on the Red Cross website something described as an emergency radio with weather alert and smart phone charger. It can charge smartphones with via USB and includes an emergency LED flashlight.
The listed price is $39.99.
Sharper Image offers an emergency solar hand crank radio for $89.99. The Sharper Image website notes that the device never needs batteries and runs on solar power.
A company called Epica offers a digital emergency solar hand-cranked radio for $21.95. The listed Amazon Prime price in mid-May was $21.95.
Let There Be Light
Its bad enough with no air conditioning but when youre stuck in a hot-house without electric lights the heat feels worse.
But there are numerous products out there to help light the darkness. This includes lanterns and flashlights.
Florida Weekly found the Etekcity 2-Pack Portable LED Camping Flashlight.
It requires six AA batteries and the Amazon Prime price range in mid- May was $13.59 to $19.99.
The AYL Starlight battery was listed then at $20.99.
The choice of flashlights is enormous.
Here are two that might work for some stuck in a post-hurricane blackout:
The J5 tactical V1-Pro flashlight was listed on Amazon Prime at $11.95.
The MagLite Mini incandescent flashlight sported a $9.99 Amazon Prime price in mid-May.
Generators can be wonderful gadgets to have when power is knocked out by a hurricane. The Red Cross on its website, redcross.org, offers advice on choosing a generator and the safe use of generators.
The Red Cross makes these four points about choosing the right generator:
1. What size? Add up the power requirements of the appliances and devices you will want to use. (Check the back and sides for a label with this info.)
2. Add up the wattage of all the light bulbs you will want to use.
3. Find the total amps you need by dividing watts by volts.
4. Choose a generator that produces more amps than you need.
Finally, safe use of generators is critical. The Red Cross offers more safety tips than we have room for here but the organization points out the primary hazard from generators is carbon monoxide poisoning. There are also the possibilities of electric shock, electrocution and fire.
Many people likely recall what was it like last September in the wake of Hurricane Irma. With no power it wasnt possible to cook so people ate what they could out of boxes and cans until the power returned and they could grill up some chicken or do something as simple as boil water.
Well, disposable grills can help provide some comfort food in the wake of the next hurricane. Numerous brands and prices are available.
On Wal-Marts website, for example, Florida Weekly found a Rankem Instant Grill for $12.01 and a Grill-It-Kit one for $6.15.
The Target website offered in mid-May a Kingsford portable grill for $19.95.
Protecting Your Communications Devices
Many people have likely dropped cellphones into sinks that are filled with water. That is not a good thing.
Imagine what could happen to cellphones or tablets or laptops during hurricanes.
A company called DryCASE: Waterproof Cases and Accessories offer helpful products.
A review of the companys website finds that it offers products to protect all sorts of devices. A Smartphone case, for example, can be purchased from the company for $39.99.
More information is available at www.drycase.com.
Knowledge Is Power
When Hurricane Donna slammed into Florida in 1960, information wasnt as readily available as it is now. Even when Hurricane Charley barreled into Southwest Florida in 2004 the information network was different than it is now.
There were no cellphones in 1960 and there werent any phone apps in 2004. The first phone apps didn’t come out until 2008.
Now, 10 years later, more information about hurricanes and their paths and power can be found on cell phones.
There are many excellent apps that can be helpful.
Here are some organizations offering apps residents and visitors may find useful when the next hurricane approaches and after it leaves: