Battery-operated lights. Spend the money for a powerful
flashlight that can withstand hours of use and abuse
during an emergency. You’ll also want to pick up a
couple of battery-powered headlamps, so you don’t
have to juggle a flashlight. Also stock up on some
battery-operated LED hurricane lamps for ambient
lighting to read and cook by.
Batteries. Even LED lights need to have their batteries replaced occasionally.
Count on at least three refills of batteries per battery-operated gadget. Be sure
to double-check which kind (D, C, AA, etc.) goes in each. And remember to
replace all of the batteries in your disaster supplies once a year before they
lose their juice.
Weather radio. This lifesaver is a great addition to any household in the
possible path of severe weather. You keep it on 24 hours a day, and normally
it remains silent, but the instant the National Weather Service issues a warning the radio emits a piercing beeping sound. In the meantime, pick up a
NOAA radio. Look for a brand with “S.A.M.E.” technology, which enables
you to focus the alert on your immediate vicinity. It’ll cut down on annoying
Protecting the stuff you can’t live without
In the aftermath of any disaster, the reports of victims who have lost all
of their family mementos and treasures tug at the heartstrings. These items
that insurance can’t replace are often what people hold most dear. To help
assure that these items are protected, here are some steps to take.
• Open a safe deposit box at a bank. Even with a watertight, fireproof home
safe, it’s a good idea to keep items that cannot be
insured or replaced in a bank vault. Keep a current
inventory of the contents of the safe deposit
box and appoint a trusted person who
can access the box in your absence.
• Obtain and copy all important papers,
letters and documents; copy, scan
or preferably digitize one-of-a-kind
photographs, slides, home movies and videos;
and store them on DVDs. Items that cannot be scanned or photocopied
(e.g., coin and stamp collections) should be kept in the safe deposit box.
• Duplicate your computer program files and a complete and current backup
of your computer data. While it might not be feasible to store duplicate
copies of all receipts, tax records, photo negatives and miscellaneous other
papers in your safe deposit box, it’s a good idea to store the originals or
copies at a safe off-premises location, such as your office or the home of
a friend or relative.
The process of keeping valuables in a safe deposit box and storing copies
and originals in two places will help protect that which you hold dear,
regardless of whether you are at home or away if disaster strikes. A
TIPS & TRICKS
SAFE USE OF PORTABLE
A GENERATOR CAN BE a lifesaving tool in
the event of a power outage. But you must
know how to operate it correctly to avoid
deadly dangers. Follow these steps.
• Always read and follow the operator’s
manual and all operating instructions
before running the generator.
• Use your generator outdoors only, away
from open windows, vents or doors. Never
use your generator inside homes, garages
or other enclosed areas. Fumes that can
kill you can build up in these areas.
• Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide
detector when running your generator.
• Allow the engine to cool at least two
minutes before refueling. Always use fresh
gas in your generator. If you do not plan to
use your generator in 30 days, stabilize the
gas with fuel stabilizer.
• Keep your generator at least 5 feet away
from any structures or combustible materials.
• When using extension cords, be sure they
are the grounded type and are rated for
the application. Coiled cords can get hot,
so always uncoil cords and lay them in flat,
• If you are connecting a generator to your
home electrical system, have a qualified
electrician install a power transfer switch.
Never plug your generator directly into
your home outlet. A