What the Tech? Helpful gadgets during an emergency

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and heat waves can knock out power for hours or even days. That might have been a major inconvenience years ago but today losing power means losing all connection with friends, family, and the news.

You may have, or should have a medical emergency kit somewhere in your house. But do you have an emergency tech kit? And if not, you may be wondering what you should put in it.

I’m talking about a kit that contains enough emergency tech gadgets to keep you connected when you have no electricity and no internet in your home.

Here are a few things you should consider:

A tech emergency kit could be in a box, a closet, or on a shelf somewhere. Personally, I keep tech emergency supplies on a shelf where they can be charged from time to time.

You’ll need your smartphone but it’s no help if the battery dies. If you don’t already have a few of portable chargers they’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Keep a couple of them charged and where you can find them. Most newer portable batteries can charge multiple phones a few times before needing to be recharged.

Place a few power cables in your emergency kit to charge phones, tablets, and laptops. I’ve chosen to take several cables and keep them in the kit where I know I can find them. And consider getting at least one charging cable with interchangeable plugs. These have a lightning plug for iPhones, standard micro USB, and USB-C.

In the event power is out for quite a while, I suggest having a portable electric generator or power station. The Eco-Flow Delta 2 Max can charge phones, and laptops, and will keep most large appliances working for hours. The Delta 2 Max provides 3400W of output so you can plug in multiple devices at the same time to keep them running. The power station has four standard USB inputs, 2 USB-C inputs, and 6 standard electrical plugs. It charges through any standard electrical plug in the house and holds its own charge for months so you can store it somewhere and it’s ready when you need it.

In a recent outage, the Delta 2 Max kept an old refrigerator running for more than 14 hours.

For extended outages, plug the Delta Max into an Eco Flow solar panel and place it in the sun. In my own test, the power station went from about 6% to fully charged in about 5 hours.

If you lose power you lose internet and TV. Plug the television into the generator and use an old-school antenna to get local news from the TV station. No cable or internet is required.

Finally, I recommend a portable crank flashlight. These never need charging but are powered just by turning a crank. Eton makes several crank flashlights and is endorsed by the American Red Cross.

I purchased one for about $10 that has a flashlight and inputs to charge a smartphone. About ten years ago I picked up another emergency crank flashlight from Eton that is also solar-powered, has a flashlight, and AM/FM radio with multiple weather bands. It has been in my emergency kit for a decade and still works like it did the day I bought it.

Everyone loses power at some point and an emergency tech kit with these gadgets can keep you connected. Provided you remember where you put it.

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