Our Audio Buyer and VP of Merchandising Frank Lozano says, “Not every storm turns into a hurricane but preparedness is paramount regardless.” We agree, and prefer the phrase “Storm Preparedness” one a week. That’s what we’d like to talk about today.

Hurricane season spans from June 1st to November 30th. As a Florida business for 42 years, BrandsMart USA has seen it all.

Canned food, bottled water, and first aid are must-haves and should always be priority number one in any preparedness plan.  As times have changed, however, so have our challenges. We, at BrandsMart USA, believe we have what it takes to meet these new challenges. We have provided links at the end of the article that will take you to official checklists for storm safety. Please use them to ensure you have your basics covered! Read on to see our suggestions for gear that will modernize your preparedness kit.

 

USB-Powered FansUSB-Powered Fans

New to our catalog this year is this Bene Casa rechargeable fan. Suggested for its USB Charging feature, this fan boasts up to 15 hours of use per charge. Since a power bank is all you’d need to recharge, it could mean a world of difference to the elderly or infirm when the A/C fails.

 

Surge ProtectorsSurge Protectors 

In the event of a power surge, you want to be sure that your devices aren’t fried. Surge Protectors are designed and built to keep this from happening by redirecting excess power to the grounding path built into your home’s wiring.

 

Battery BackupsBattery Backups

Go one step further by not only protecting your equipment but by providing power for a short time (usually a few minutes) after an electrical failure. This allows you to properly shut down all equipment without losing precious data or risking damage. For this reason, battery backups can literally pay for themselves many times over.

 

Antennas, Radios, Corded PhonesAntennas, Radios, Corded Phones

Should cable go out but the power stays on, you will need a way to tune-in to the news to stay informed and keep yourself (and the kids!) entertained until yours is restored. We carry a number of antennas and amplifiers built to bring digital broadcasts to your set.  Staying connected is crucial!

The same can be said for radios, which broadcast news and vital information. We carry a number of radios many of which have battery backup features so that you’re never left in the dark.

Speaking of being “in the dark” this multi-function rechargeable radio comes with a built-in spotlight. That kind of utility really comes in handy.

Communication is nearly impossible when power is out and your cellular devices have died. There is no replacement for a simple and common corded phone. These devices are able to function over a low-voltage power system that is separate from your power grid and will allow you to reliably check on friends and family. Cordless phone sets do not share the same perk as their wireless functions require additional power.

 

Hard-DrivesHard-Drives

Nobody likes the thought of an emergency evacuation, but if it comes to that, you probably won’t have room for all your important documents. In extreme cases, catastrophic storm damage can result in the loss of these important bits of paperwork. If you have backed up everything digitally onto dependable hard-drives, you may rest assured you’re not back to square one when things return to normal. Cloud services are also worth considering for the same reason.

 

Power Banks / Solar Battery SystemsPower Banks / Solar Battery Systems

The cloud is good for storing media but it doesn’t help when you’re trying to power your devices with solar energy. Take advantage of the clear skies after a storm with one of our range of solar chargers. Many are smart enough to turn themselves on and off with the availability of sunlight and are equipped with multiple ports to charge your devices and power banks at the same time. These devices are rugged, water- and dustproof which makes them hard to beat in terms of reliability.

 

FlashlightsFlashlights

You need to be able to see what you’re doing at night when the power’s out. Following are our favorite flashlight recommendations:

This Supersonic features radio functionality as well as an alarm and bypasses the need for batteries thanks to a crank built into the backside. A built-in solar panel and stout handle make it easy to carry and reposition for maximum sunlight absorption.

If you’re looking for a small light for everyone in the family, this pack of 5 LED lights by Atak is a top-shelf value. These highly rated compact lights feature aluminum, shock-resistant bodies and a real punch for their small size. Each will provide a 100,000-hour total useable lifetime.

Energizer brings thoughtful features to the simple flashlight with this small waterproof LED flashlight. We like the glow in the dark touches on the button and lanyard fob, making this flashlight difficult to lose or drop. The 79-hour runtime (on two included AA’s) is solid and as a bonus – this thing floats!

 

GeneratorsGenerators

Generators are a no-brainer if you absolutely can’t go without power after a storm. We carry a number of gas and dual-fuel generators in different wattages to meet your needs. Don’t forget to use a grounded extension cable or surge protector to hook up your devices to your generator!

 

GrillsGrills

Grills are widely suggested for storm preparedness for a number of reasons, but the biggest is that a grill – or any source of heat sufficient for cooking, like hot plates – allow you to cook the foods you already had in your refrigerator before they potentially go bad. Another is the ability to boil water if your supply runs out. You can’t go wrong in stretching your resources and reducing waste. Remember to cook outside whether you have a gas or charcoal grill.

We make no secret of our commitment to name brands at the lowest prices, but we’re also personally vested in keeping our friends and families safe; we live here, after all. We hope we’ve given you something to think about as you prepare for this storm season and the next. Below are those links we mentioned earlier.

Stay safe!

Hurricane Safety.Org Master Checklist

Florida Disaster Emergency Management Evacuation Routes

Florida Disaster Emergency Management Shelter Locations
(Remember to check ahead of time if you have pets!)

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