When I said that I was completely ill prepared for even the most minor of emergencies, I wasn’t kidding. I fell flat on my face walking down the street the other day, and when I came home to tend to my wounds, all I had in my First Aid kit were a handful of Band-Aids that had clearly been in a pocket or at the bottom of a purse at some point in time. They did the trick, but this little incident got me thinking about how I would be at an absolute loss if a real emergency were to occur.
So, in light of what seems to be an unusually high volume of natural disasters across the globe lately, and considering the fact that my home is right on the infamous “Ring of Fire” I decided it was high time for me to step up my game. To do that, I’m going to stock up on canned goods and water, and add to my emergency kit a few of these gadgets from emergency preparedness gear brands like Goal Zero, Secure, and Eaton.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lumen Lantern
When emergencies do strike, one of the first things to go is power, so you’ll need an alternate source of light. This lantern from Goal Zero is ideal because you don’t need to rely on batteries for it to work. Instead, it can be charged via an external solar panel or by hand crank, or for times when you do have power, by USB. That built-in USB port can also be used to power small devices like your smartphone or tablet, which you’ll want to keep charged to make phone calls or check news reports.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator
With the lumen lantern from Goal Zero, you’ll have light and the ability to power small devices, but with this Solar Generator, you can charge your laptops, keep your lights on, charge your phone or tablet, and otherwise remain “plugged-in” in times when traditional power sources are not an option. It’s also silent, fume-free, and gas-free, making it not only a great addition to your emergency preparedness kit, but an ideal camping buddy as well.
Secur Waterproof Dynamo LED Flashlight
I’m one of those people that have a flashlight on them at all times; and by flashlight, I mean the one that is on my smartphone, which hardly counts. My new emergency kit will have a good, reliable flashlight like this one from Secur. Not only do its three high-power LED lights offer impressive illumination in the darkest of situations, but its built-in dynamo generator means you’ll never have to fumble around in the dark for batteries. Add to that the fact that it is waterproof up to 45-feet and super compact, and it’s safe to say that I’ll be getting one to keep in my car as well.
Secur Hybrid Power Radio
Another absolute necessity for any emergency situation is a reliable radio. If you’re thinking “I’ll just use my phone” keep in mind that you’ll very likely not have access to Wi-Fi so streaming a radio station won’t be an option. Instead, go for a compact AM/FM radio that doesn’t rely on batteries, like this one from Secur. It can be charged via the built-in dynamo, solar panel, AC adapter, or AC cigarette lighter plug, so you can tune into your favourite radio stations to stay informed during an emergency.
Etón Scorpion II Rugged Digital Radio
Another great radio option is the Eton Scorpion II. Like the Secur Hybrid Power Radio, it too features a digital AM/FM tuner, but also includes a NOAA Weather Band receiver so you can keep up to speed on weather forecasts, alerts, and other emergency messages. It also features a USB port so you can charge your smartphone, an LED flashlight, and is powered by an integrated 5.5-volt solar panel. If sunshine isn’t available, you can also power it via its crank handle, or by USB. Perhaps its best feature though is its rugged exterior skin and water-resistant design, because you never know what you might come up against in an emergency.
Secur 4-in-1 Light & Power Bank
This handy little gadget from Secur is almost like jack-of-many-trades when it comes to emergency preparedness. First, it functions as a flashlight and lantern, second it emits a flashing red emergency light to signal your location, and third, it acts like a charger for your smartphone or tablet. It’s also rainproof, so will function in even the most inclement of situations.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack
When you’re in a bind and you need batteries, the Guide 10 Plus from Goal Zero has you covered. It’s compact and portable and can charge up to four AA batteries from the power of the sun’s rays, or via a USB port. You can also use it to add some juice to your phone, audio player, GPS or tablet.
BioLite Camping Stove 2
A compact camp stove is a great addition to any emergency preparedness kit, especially when it serves multiple functions. This one from BioLite is ideal for home use since it runs on biomass like twigs, sticks, and wood pellets, and produces smoke-free flames. With it you can boil water, cook your meals, and recharge your USB devices like a smartphone, tablet, head lamp, camera, or even rechargeable batteries. Twenty minutes of charging with a strong fire will give you about an hour of talk time on most smartphones–how cool is that? It’s also exceptionally light, weighing in at two pounds, and about the size of a one-liter bottle of water.
It may sound a little odd, but I am actually looking forward to getting myself emergency prepared. Whether I ever need to use the items and gear in my emergency kit is obviously unknown, but I’m pretty sure the peace of mind that will come with knowing I have what I need will be well worth it.
For more information on Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Week, click here.