Staying Charged and Connected in a Major Disaster

November 2, 2012

New Yorkers gather around power strips to charge cell phones
in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Superstorm Sandy left millions of northeasterners without power, some of whom may have to wait more than a week before it’s restored.1 Lack of power to charge important electronic communication devices like cell phones, smart phones, and laptops are among the many problems caused by the lack of electricity.

Many people in affected areas are relying on generators to keep their cell phones and laptops charged, and Wi-Fi hotspots or businesses with Wi-Fi to stay connected to the internet. One major carrier has set up mobile charging stations around New York City2 and local officials in other affected cities have set up designated charging stations. Throughout these cities, people can be seen huddled around generators  Wi-Fi hotspots.
New Yorkers gather near a building with 
working Wi-Fi.

It’s no surprise that communication is a high priority in the aftermath of this major disaster. For those who know where to find power and internet service, it’s possible to stay connected. But many people are still without phone or internet service. To make sure you
always have power for your electronic devices, here are some items you may want
to add to your emergency kit:
The GoalZero™ Nomad 7m Solar Panel is a small, portable folding solar panel capable of charging devices through USB or 12-volt cables. This can charge a cellphone, smartphone, mp3 player, and other small devices. It also has an optional 12V car charger adapter. The 7-Watt solar panel charges a cell phone in 1-2 hours. It’s 6” x 9” x 1” folded and 19” x 9” x 1”
unfolded and weighs 13 oz. If you had to evacuate, you could easily carry it in
you emergency kit.


 
The GoalZero™ Guide™ 10 Plus Power Pack allows you to charge NiMH AA batteries from a USB power source or from
the sun in as little as 1.5 hours using the Nomad 7 solar panel. It’s about the same size as a cell phone, so it’s easy to carry. You can use this Power Pack to charge a cell phone 1-3 times if the pack itself is fully charged. You can use the included rechargeable batteries to power other battery operated items.
It even has a built in LED flashlight that can run up to 20 hours  on a full charge.
Goal Zero™ also makes larger solar panels and power packs, some powerful enough to run a
refrigerator. Whether you use a smaller unit to charge your cell phone, or a larger one to power appliances or medical equipment, you’ll be better off in a major disaster if you have a way to stay powered up and  connected. 

 

1 CNN Wire.  “'A loss for everybody': Communities start cleanup afterSandy.”  31 October 2012.   CNN.com. Web.  Accessed 1 November 2012.


This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with hurricanes, emergency power, solar power, communication

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