We have all heard that we should keep our gas tanks full, remove loose branches from trees, stock up on water, food, (bonus if you have a freezer), buy a generator to keep your food fresh, flashlights and batteries.. wait what? A flashlight and batteries? Who uses that in 2020?
Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats having a bright flashlight like one made by Surefire, but do we really need to be worried about stand-alone flashlights and extra batteries for it in 2020 if we just use it to walk around our house? Chances are, your smartphone already has one, as well as a plethora of other apps that are needed during a hurricane.
Your smartphone is the most underrated item in hurricane season.
Seriously, think about it.
Your phone can give you live weather and news updates, or police scanner. It can act as a flashlight, provide internet as a hotspot to your laptop and most importantly, from games, to movies, it can serve as your personal entertainment device.
Of course, without a way to charge it, it will just be a paperweight.
So how do you charge your phone if there is no power?
There are a couple options:
1) Use your car battery, (of course, this will end up killing your battery and most modern cars will not allow a charge through the accessory port if it is turned off)
2) A external battery pack.
These can be found on Amazon, at your local Walmart etc. and most will allow you to plug in 2, 3 devices at once. Keep in mind though, a 10,000mah battery pack will be about 2.5 charges (on average). If you have 1 extra, you may want to hold off on Netflix.
They also make a solar verison of these that can be charged using the Sun. While this is not going to happen during the actual storm, if you find yourself without power for a few days, this will be good to have.
Pro Tip: While I do not advise turning your car on just to charge these up, as they will take a good 6-8 hours to charge, it is not a bad idea to bring these with you when you head out to places like the store if you do not have any power at home. (Don’t leave them in the hot car for the entire day because they will breakdown)
While these may seem expensive at first, I have a few that I have charged dozens of times (and the batteries are typically rated for 1,000 charges), you will save lots of money when you start comparing a $20 battery pack with a pack of D size batteries for a Weather Radio (that will likely bleed after you don’t use it for a couple of years, and will need to be replaced with every major storm). What I did (if you are reading this, it is likely a storm is coming soon, and this is not going to help) is that I bought a battery pack every paycheck, and now I have 6 that are 10,000 mah packs. (As long as you use them every once in a while, and keep them charged up, they will last a long time. ) and are great to have for times like this.
Remember, the trick to any storm is to prepare BEFORE it hits.