The little snow this weekend reminds me that it’s time to talk about winter preparedness.
For Christmas we gave a lot of these Eton-Red Cross AM/FM/Weatherband crank-solar radio/flashlight/cell phone chargers $35) paired with Sterno 55 hour emergency candles ($6). They were both big hits and we’ll keep you from you feeling alone when the lights go out.
The radios came from Amazon. You can find the Sterno candles at the grocery store or Wal-Mart. I also like smaller candles for here and there around the house when the lights go out. Sterno makes those, too, or you can use tea candles or the nice-smelling candles from Yankee Candle and such like.
If you need emergency candles you’re probably in dire straits and can’t depend on a quick response from the fire department. Put those candles where they’re safe and make sure you have working smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. For that reason I also like LED lighting. We also have lots of disposable batteries, LED flashlights, and LED headlamps. I need to pick up some AA LED lanterns that run on rechargeable AA batteries since we keep those now.
Other Preparedness Stuff
WATER – I keep a couple flats of bottled water that I change out ever year or two ($10), but have never had to use for emergencies, along with three 7 gallon potable water containers ($10 each), and PolarPure iodine water purification tablets ($5 a bottle or so from Wal-Mart).
AC/DC – One thing that’s been handy even though I’ve never used it in an emergency per se is this Husky powerbox ($100 when I bought it). I’ve used it lots of times for boosting dead car batteries and inflating tires and kids sports equipment. In an emergency I can use it to power AC and DC electronics. I’ve also got a Xantrax 700 watt inverter ($90, though when I bought it I think it was closer to $30). I’ve never even taken it out if its clamshell packaging, so it would be way down on my preparations list if I was buying again.
HEATING/COOKING – Along the theme of never used for emergencies but used all the time for other stuff, for emergency winter heat and cooking I’ve got propane and propane accessories. Three 20 pound propane gas cylinders from the Quik-E-Mart, a propane BBQ grill, a propane burner AKA turkey fryer, a propane infrared turkey fryer, a Coleman propane camp stove, and an indoor propane heater (a $135 Mr Heater Big Buddy) that will heat a 400 square foot room. All bought over a number of years, used to cook lots of good food, and not a huge investment.
Previously – Emergency TV (is that an oxymoron?)