Thursday, July 19, 2012

Solar Cell (Phone)

This would be handy in hurricane season or any disaster. Well, any disaster except a nuclear winter when the sky is filled with dust and clouds that obscure the sun.

It's a solar-powered cell phone. Too bad they're only marketed in India. They're only $45!

Of course, I think it was an Indian phone that exploded while plugged in to recharge. Just imagine what could happen if it can recharge anytime, anywhere the sun is shining!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ten Minutes to Leave

June 2012 was a month of extremes. Extreme dry weather and heat led to dozens of massive wildfires in the western United States. Extreme rainfall - some related to Tropical Storm Debby, some from thunderstorms- flooded homes, businesses and streets.

Some people had just minutes to grab what they could and leave their homes.

image shows part of a clock face and a little bit of the hands.
If you had ten minutes, at most, to leave your house - perhaps forever - what would you take?

Lives - children and pets - come first, of course.

But then what?

Your computer? Or portable hard drive with all those digital photos you can't replace? Do you have old family photo albums or treasured heirlooms? Valuable jewelry? A change of clothes?

a family prepares a disaster supply kit
It is impossible to keep everything packed all the time, but you can ease your mind a little bit by having an emergency bag handy with a change or two of clothes for each family member, some cheap toothbrushes and other toiletries.

Make copies of all your important documents: insurance policies and cards, ID and birth certificates, lists of bank accounts and credit cards with contact phone numbers. Put the copies in your emergency bag or in your disaster kit along with your non-perishable food and flashlights. Alternatively, invest in a portable, locking, fire- and water-resistant document box and keep any documents and copies there. It'll be safer if left behind, but if it's small, you can grab it along with your suitcase and disaster kit.

Next, make a list. Start with the obvious things first:
  • purse
  • cell phone
  • laptop
  • emergency suitcase
  • disaster kit
  • document lockbox
Make sure you add those things you can't really pack in advance - that pearl necklace you inherited from your great grandmother, the portable hard drive where your photos are stored, your child's favorite blanket or toy.

By making the list when you're calm, you can make decisions about what's most important, what you can fit in your vehicle, and you'll be sure not to forget the most important things. You'll also be able to make your getaway faster, because you'll know what to grab and where it is. You'll have a plan. You won't waste precious minutes standing in the middle of the room asking yourself, "What should I take?

You'll already know.

Here are some links to help you get started:

Build a Kit
Be Red Cross Ready