Disaster Preparedness: 8 Gadgets You Need

Prepare for the worst, and then breathe easy. Or at least, easier. That’s the theory, and with a little planning ahead and the right gadgets, you’ll feel more confident that you can handle a natural disaster or other calamity. Here’s what to keep in a home emergency kit.

Photo By: SteriPEN

Photo By: Goal Zero

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Radio Shack

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/Pali Rao

Photo By: BioLite

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: SpareOne


Water is essential to life, but it’s hard to store enough bottled water for a whole family. SteriPEN makes a line of handheld water purifiers that use UV light to wipe out 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Some models use lithium batteries; others are charged with a USB cable or portable solar panel. 

Goal Zero Multi-Tool Kit

This Goal Zero Multi-Tool kit gets the sun’s help when you need to charge your devices and the power is out. It includes a solar panel, flashlight, fan and battery to store all that solar power. It can recharge your smartphone or any USB device.

The Blackout Buddy

No more groping around in the dark when the power goes off. The Blackout Buddy plugs into an outlet so it’s continuously charged and ready. When the power switches off, an LED light automatically turns on. Fold up the prong to use it as a flashlight with four hours of power. 

Battery Storage Rack

One cannot have too many batteries during an emergency. One can, however, have too many batteries, of undetermined age, rolling around loose. Try a battery storage rack like this one from Range Kleen, which neatly holds 64 batteries of all shapes and sizes. A built-in battery tester lets you check the charge levels. Mount the rack to a wall or place it flat inside a drawer. 

Landline Phone

During an emergency, the infrastructure for cellular service gets overwhelmed. Having a corded landline phone is a worthy backup, even if you wince to pay a monthly charge for just-in-case use.

BioLite CampStove

Heat up your soup and recharge your smartphone, in one go. The 2-pound BioLite CampStove cleanly burns wood — sticks, twigs, whatever — and uses the waste heat from the fire to create electricity via a thermoelectric generator. It can power up most USB-chargeable devices. 

First Aid Kit

Store a first aid kit at home and in your car. Containing 108 pieces, the Deluxe Family First Aid Kit has everything you’ll need to treat minor medical problems. The case is clearly marked and compartmentalized for easy access to bandages, thermometers, tape, gauze and the like. 


Superlight SpareOne is an emergency mobile phone that never needs charging. It’s powered by a single AA battery and holds a charge for 15 years. A large button allows for one-touch dialing to 911, while a panic siren and SOS torchlight can help rescuers find you. 

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