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7 gadgets to have on hand in case of a natural disaster

Key Takeaways

  • Your smartphone is a critical tool — with apps, GPS, and communication features, it could save your life in a disaster.
  • Backup batteries are essential — keep your devices charged with solar generators or power banks to stay connected.
  • Emergency radios provide vital information — get one with a hand crank to tune into emergency channels.



Regardless of where you live, there’s a chance of natural disasters striking. I’m in the northeast United States, so I’m susceptible to a blizzard locking me in my home without heat and power. If you live in the western portion of the US, you could get hit by a devastating earthquake. The southern part of the country sees hurricanes and tornadoes on a regular basis.

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Terrifying as they might be, the threat of natural disasters is a part of life all around the world. You can’t stop them from happening, but you can take steps to be prepared. In fact, some valuable gadgets can help you be ready for a natural disaster in the event that one hits. Some are relatively obvious, and some are more insecure, but if you have these seven devices, you’ll be better prepared to respond to even the worst situations.



1 You have a smartphone in your pocket… use it

Apps, apps, and more apps

iphone 15

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a great smartphone to have in a disaster because of the emergency SOS feature, but any phone is worth having for a number of reasons.

We all have smartphones, and there’s no doubt it’s a vital tool — perhaps even the most important one — to own in a natural disaster. Between the wealth of apps available, GPS capabilities, plus the communication features a smartphone offers, quite simply, it could save your life. We rounded up all the ways you can use a smartphone during an emergency or natural disaster, including using the iPhone’s Emergency SOS via Satellite, sending a text instead of calling to get around network congestion, and a myriad of apps that provide critical information.

2 Backup batteries help keep your devices charged

If your phone’s battery is dead, you’ve lost all communication

The speed of sunlight: New Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro enables fast solar charging photo 7

Jackery


jackery-solor-generator-300

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

For $300, this solar generator from Jackery will keep your devices running for a long time, and once it runs out of juice, you can charge it with the power of the sun.

Your devices are only as good as the charger keeping them alive. The one listed above is a great option because it’s massive and can power lamps, mini-fridges or even a CPAP if needed. However, if all you want to do is power your smartphone, you can get smaller and cheaper alternatives like this GOODaaa power bank with a solar panel. It still packs plenty of power at 32,000mAh, which is good enough to recharge most smartphones half a dozen times or so. Either way, you’ll want to have some sort of solar-powered backup available (and charged) so you’re ready for the worst.

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3 An emergency radio provides valuable information

Get one with a hand crank. Trust me

chank-radio-battery

RunningSnail


emergency-crank-radio

Emergency Crank Weather Radio

$32 $45 Save $13

This is one possible hand crank radio to consider, but there are plenty of others available on Amazon and elsewhere. Whichever one you get, having one of these will allow you to learn about the situation regardless of whether you have power.

Information is critical during a disaster, and having a radio that works whether you have power or not is vital. With the one linked above, or any similar model, you’ll be able to tune into AM, FM, or NOAA to learn about the disaster taking place and any necessary steps you must take to be safe. It’s a cheap device to buy that could be one of the most important things you purchase for preparation.

4 A flashlight is a staple survival item

Most of these tips are useless if you can’t see

last of us joel flashlight

HBO

everready-flashlight-8-pack

Eveready LED Flashlight (8-Pack)

$18 $22 Save $4

These are an inexpensive way to pick up multiple torches that are capable of bright beams indoors and out.

This probably seems like the most obvious gadget to have, but it’s worth remembering that you need flashlights to survive a power outage. The more flashlights with batteries you have available, the better. The bundle we’ve featured here comes with eight LED flashlights, which should be enough for the whole family to get some light.


5 Have a personal water filter nearby

These are cheap and could literally save your life

lifestraw

LifeStraw

lifestraw-tag

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

$18 $20 Save $2

Having drinking water available could be the thing that saves your life, and LifeStraw turns otherwise unsafe water into a liquid you can consume.

You need water to survive, and you can’t last long without drinkable water. Sure, you can stock bottles of water to keep you going for a while, but if you’re stuck for a long time, the LifeStraw could extend your survival time by a substantial margin. For less than $20, it’s worth keeping at least one of these in your home.

6 Handheld radios for quick communication

Short-range communication is key

GXT1000VP4-range

Midland


Midland-GXT1000VP4

Midland GXT1000VP4

The Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies have 50 channels, 142 privacy codes, an SOS alarm, NOAA weather alerts, and just about every other feature you could ever want from such a device.

Depending on the disaster, you might not be able to use your smartphone to make and receive calls to other members of your household. If someone needs to go out looking for supplies, having FRS radios is essential, as it’ll allow you to keep tabs on each other and make sure everyone is safe. As a bonus, good radios, like the ones linked above, also have NOAA weather alerts, providing you with extra information.

7 A way to pass the time

Survival can be dull sometimes

How to change Kindle font size

kindle-paperwhite-169

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite offers the ultimate eReader experience with a long-lasting battery life, high definition display, and endless access to your favorite books.

Admittedly, an eReader won’t save your life. However, if you’re stuck waiting for help to arrive, it will help you deal with boredom. A Kindle is known for having a long battery life, so you can read your books for a long time without worrying about running out of power, nor are you using your phone — and lifeline — to entertain yourself, running down its battery.


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