There's a lot of misinformation out there about hurricanes -- information that can put you and your family at serious risk. That's why the most important technology you can have during a hurricane disaster is the kind that connects you to reliable information, like the Kaito Voyager emergency radio. When the power's out and the stakes are high, it's an emergency tech must-have.
And it can be found with our sponsor BePrepared.com.
The big hurricane danger that too few of us are talking about (and that's costing lives)
Hurricane Florence, which just weeks ago hit the southeastern coast, is a stark reminder of how communication breakdowns during a storm can cause problems every bit as hazardous as the elements themselves.
During the hurricane, miscommunications led some residents to believe that the storm wasn't nearly as severe as they'd originally thought. They saw on the news that the hurricane had been downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 2 and opted not to evacuate. This turned out to be a mistake, but by the time people realized it, it was too late. They were stuck in some of the worst flooding the American southeast has seen in generations.
"A lot of people did stay because the storm went down from a Category 4 to a Category 2," said Amber Parker, an official for Craven County North Carolina. "They think of that number as being the end all."
"The concept of saying 'downgraded' or 'weakened' should be forever banished," said Marshall Shepard, a meteorology professor at the University of Georgia. "With Florence, I felt it was more dangerous after it was lowered to Category 2."
A hurricane survival tip from BePrepared.com: Getting access to accurate information can be the difference between life and death, and you need the right tech to do it.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of all of this is that accurate information regarding Florence's true severity was available. The National Weather Service, NOAA, and others labored diligently to warn residents that a lower category didn't mean the storm was less dangerous.
But by the time these messages were sent, many residents had either made up their minds to stick it out (based on bad information) or were in black out areas and weren't carrying technology that could keep them up to date on accurate storm conditions
BePrepared.com wants you to be safe, and one of the very most important things you can do is have a ready, reliable way to get the latest and most accurate information to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. The best way to do this is to have at least one emergency radio, though it is preferable to have a reliable backup -- just in case.
But not just any radio will do. There are some non-negotiables to keep in mind when you are shopping for one. What should you be looking for?
- It should be easily portable, since hurricanes very often require evacuation (Florence evacuation was over 1 million). If you can't carry your radio while running, you may not have room for it at all.
- You will want it to be dual band and with powerful reception. During a hurricane, you never know exactly where the road will take you, so you will want to be sure it could receive any transmission being sent.
- Make sure it has memory presets for easy and quick access. Since time is of the essence in an emergency, you won't have time to go fishing around for stations. Set these in advance, before the hurricane is at your door.
- Look to see it has a reliable source of power, such as solar or hand crank. Batteries can work too, but it is not as optimal. It is a good backup, though. Chances are power will go out in a hurricane, so do not rely on a radio that plugs in. Multiple ways to power is best, and redundancies are the essence of wise safety.
- Find one that automatically tunes in to emergency weather bands. It's important not only to be tuned into information, but into accurate information. This takes the guesswork out of it, with no wondering what the best source is. This takes you right to it.
What does BePrepared.com recommend?
Kaito TM VoyagerTM Pro ($79.95)
The Kaito™ Black Voyager™ Pro comes with multiple radio bands, LED flashlight and reading lamp, and an alarm. But its best feature is the automatic emergency weather alerts, meaning the radio can notify you when there is a severe weather warning in your area. It features multiple powering methods -- hand crank, solar panel, or mini-USB inlet recharge the built-in battery.
It also runs on 3 AA batteries or compatible AC adapter (not included). With a digital readout and over 200 memory presets, you are sure to have your favorite stations available anytime. A USB outlet powers many handheld electronics like most smart phones.
Kaito Voyager ($49.95)
Truly a radio for any emergency with multiple power sources, flashlights, cellphone charging, and more! With the Voyager™, you can stay up-to-date by listening to FM, AM, Shortwave, or 7 pre-set NOAA weather band frequencies.
Keep the radio powered by using a built-in adjustable solar panel, winding the hand-crank, inserting 3-AA batteries, or connecting an external power source through the USB or AC adapter ports*. With 5 built-in LED lights, the Voyager™ also gives you light in time of need. In addition to lighting and radio capabilities, you can also charge small electronic devices with the included USB outlet -- including Apple products.
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