With Hurricane Dean bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, and evacuation on the minds of people along the coast, the marketplace has responded to the needs of those fleeing today's weirder weather with greener options for staying safe and staying connected. Chief among these items: radios and electronics rechargers that don't require electricity for operation.
Freeplay markets an AM-FM Weatherband radio that can be operated through direct sunlight, winding or, of course, regular electricity. Reware and Voltaic Systems both market so-called "solar bags." Both are mobile power generators with solar panels that allow an electricity-free way to charge small electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, cameras. LED (light emitting diode) flashlights feature a technology that uses much less energy than traditional incandescent flashlights and so require far fewer battery charges for hours and hours of light.
LED flashlights are particularly shock resistant, and some are water resistant and/or waterproof. They don''t produce heat the way incandescent bulbs do, important in hot climates. Mainstream manufacturers such as MagLite and others produce several models. When packing food for either evacuation or at-home hunkering, greener options can offer healthier choices.
Packing healthy, whole grain and high protein options can help keep the energy level up and the stress level down. Greater availability of canned organic foods offers pesticide-free choices as well. Some healthy choices include organic peanut butter, whole grain crackers, single-serve cereal and granola bars, organic canned beans and fish. FEMA has published a complete list of items highlighting six basics everyone should store in their home in the event of a major storm or evacuation order.
They are: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding and sanitation supplies, tools and special items. A surprising amount of water is recommended; one gallon of water per day per person, with a minimum 3 days supply. For a family of four, that would be 12 gallons of water on hand...or in the car in the event of an evacuation.
View FEMA's full suggested list for a hurricane emergency supply kit here.
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