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Slide Show | July 2014

7 Must-Haves for Your Emergency Kit

When disaster strikes and the grid crashes, candles will get you only so far.

So we came up with a list of seven gadgets that will help you get by when the power is out.

Stock up now so you’ll be prepared for an emergency. Take a look.


7 Must-Haves for Your Emergency Kit

Portable Power Pack

When the grid goes dark, a portable power station is a quick-and-easy way to run the gadgets you need most. The Duracell DPP-300EP Powerpack 300 (about $135) does double-duty as home and auto charger. It delivers 300 watts of power through one DC socket and two grounded AC outlets. That lets you run a laptop computer for 2.5 hours and a cell phone for 15 hours, for example. Plug the Powerpack into an AC outlet as soon as you get it, and it’ll stay fully charged for emergencies. It has a detachable LED flashlight, an air compressor for pumping up tires, and jumper cables for starting a car battery.

Portable Power Pack

Mini Generator

How do you keep a freezer full of food from spoiling during a lengthy outage? The DuroStar DS4000S (about $300) is a gas-fueled generator that cranks out 3,300 continuous watts of power, with a peak of 4,000 watts. This 93-pound power station has a four-gallon fuel tank and runs up to eight hours (at half-load). It won’t power everything in your house, such as an energy-hogging electric water heater or range/oven, but it will keep your fridge and a few other items humming. The optional wheel kit (around $35) makes the DS4000S much easier to move around--a boon during emergencies.

Mini Generator

Radio That Won’t Die

You want a disaster-rated radio that will keep working in any situation. Eton’s American Red Cross FRX2 Hand Turbine AM/FM Weather Radio with Smartphone Charger (about $45) runs on solar power, an internal rechargeable battery or a hand turbine. Crank the rear-side handle for a minute and the FRX2 will play for 10 to 15 minutes at low volume. Or place it in direct sunlight for eight to ten hours to get radio reception for four to five hours. The FRX2 can receive AM, FM, shortwave and weather-alert broadcasts. It includes an LED flashlight and can charge your smartphone or other mobile device via a USB cable.

Radio That Won’t Die

Battery-Operated TV

For checking the latest news during a power outage, the RCA DPTM70R 7-Inch LED-Lit TV (around $80 on Amazon.com) is good to have in your home. A rechargeable TV that weighs just one pound, it features a seven-inch, LED-backlit LCD display for watching over-the-air stations for more than two hours. The built-in SD flash drive and USB port let the kiddies watch videos on the device as well. Two 1.5-watt speakers deliver stereo sound, and the headphone jack is handy for private listening.

Battery-Operated TV

Four Lamps in One

A rechargeable lantern will light up a room, but what about the rest of your house? Rather than stockpiling multiple lamps, get the Coleman Quad LED Lantern (about $70). Featuring four detachable light panels, each with six bright LEDs, the Quad is four lanterns in one and shines for up to 75 hours. Each panel has its own on/off switch and recharges on the base, which uses eight D-cell batteries. Also consider the Coleman 4D CPX LED Duo Lantern (around $60), which shines for up to 56 hours and has two pop-off lights for emergencies.

Four Lamps in One

Portable Water

When water from the municipal supply may not be safe to drink due to contamination by fire, bacteria, chemical spills or other events, turn to a water-purification system such as the Katadyn Combi (about $220). This portable unit filters out bacteria, protozoa, sediments and other contaminants. Its two-stage carbon-and-ceramic filter produces about one liter of drinkable water per minute. Katadyn’s optional faucet-mount adaptor (around $65) makes the Combi convenient for ongoing home use, too.

Portable Water

Grandma's Phone

Cordless, cellular and Internet phones may be popular, but the venerable corded handset has one distinct advantage: When paired with landline phone service, it’s the odds-on favorite to keep working during a blackout. The AT&T 210 Trimline phone is a sturdy, no-frills model that starts at around $10 online. Landline phone service is cheap, too, provided you avoid the extras.

Grandma's Phone

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