How to build a tech emergency kit

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An emergency kit is essential for keeping at home or in the vehicle and should also contain technical accessories. These are the best tech essentials for your emergency kit and how to make sure everything works when you need it.

Along with food and water rations, technology is critical to communicating after an emergency or disaster. A smartphone is an important means of communication that allows people to receive emergency notifications, stay in touch with loved ones and contact emergency services.

It’s important to keep it dry, safe and powered during a crisis.

Emergency Kit Tech Essentials

Aside from the basics of food, water, first aid, a flashlight, a radio, and waterproof bags, there are other things to consider. The charging section of the kit should contain at least one solar charger, at least one charging cable plus wall adapter, and a power bank or two.

The Anker charger and the solar panel have a USB-A connector, and using a USB-A cable for both can save space. Most people probably have a variety of cables in their home and should identify those that they feel are necessary.

Anchor 24W solar panel

Anchor 24W solar panel

Emergency gear essentials

Charging accessories, as well as a good waterproof case, are there to support the smartphone and ensure it has power for as long as possible. The rest of the kit should be filled with items that support the human.

It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start for a basic kit. The contents of an emergency kit may depend on the likelihood of emergencies that a person believes they will experience.

But these other products are also universal emergency items and can usefully expand any emergency equipment. As before, buyers may find any product on this list on sale from time to time.

  • GearLight S2000 LED Flashlight: This tactical flashlight is GearLight’s largest and brightest. It’s made of aluminum and requires four AA batteries to power it, which are not included. $39.99
  • 298 Piece First Aid Kit: This first aid kit contains almost everything needed for medical emergencies. Has everything from glue to meds like aspirin and ibuprofen. $20.57
  • ER310 emergency crank radio: In the event of a smartphone failure, an emergency radio can be used to transmit severe weather warnings or civil emergencies. It can be powered by solar power, a hand crank or a 2600mAh battery. Includes a flashlight and a USB port for charging a smartphone. $69.99
  • LifeStraw personal water filter: Safe drinking water is essential to life and survival, and this water filter can provide 792 gallons or 3,000 liters of filtration capacity. It removes 99% of bacteria and protozoa that can cause disease. $64.95
  • HEETA waterproof stuff sack: Available in multiple sizes, this case protects smartphones, batteries and other devices from water damage. From $10.00 to $25.99
  • EVERLIT emergency thermal blanket made of mylar: This 4-pack of thermal blankets is made of durable, insulating Mylar material. It can store up to 90% of body heat and is waterproof and weatherproof. $7.95

Tips for emergencies

Some of these products may already be available at home, and “use what you have” is a good tip for emergencies. Even a sealed Ziploc case is better than nothing to make it waterproof or dustproof in an emergency, and an iPhone screen is still responsive to touch input from one.

Another option is to store batteries and other electronics in a plastic container. This can be done in local emergencies such as a house flood, and emergencies where people can stuff the container into the emergency kit and flee the area.

EVERLIT rescue blanket

EVERLIT rescue blanket

maintenance An emergency case is just as important as the composition. Food rations can expire, although depending on the product, that expiration date is likely to be measured in years. Medications do this too, and even patches can be less effective years after you buy them.

Batteries should always be fully charged in the technical part of the kit. This charge doesn’t last forever, so it’s important to recharge it regularly. Even with a solar panel, it can be difficult to charge an iPhone, so backup solutions like a radio are a good addition.

Charging the batteries every July 4th and Christmas Day should be enough and you’ll have a good charge for deep winter and hurricane/typhoon season.

Batteries such as the Anker PowerCore and the AA batteries in the GearLight flashlight must be kept in plastic containers in cool, dry locations for long-term storage. Protecting them from direct sunlight is key to their longevity, and the same goes for iPhones and other electronics.

People in flood-prone areas should store their emergency equipment as high as possible. Attics aren’t great because of the heat, but a tall shelf in a garage or in the home itself is good. Batteries, tools such as machetes and axes, clothing and first aid kits must be stored in a dry, easily accessible place.

And if you are in this flood prone area? Have an ax in the attic in case you need to cut the roof off to call for help and be rescued.

iPhone features

To maximize battery life during an emergency, turn on Low Power Mode to keep an iPhone on longer. The setting is in Settings > Battery > Power saving mode.

For power saving mode, a button can be enabled in Control Center for quicker access by going to Settings > Control Center.

Some apps can come in handy in an emergency. One called the Zello acts as a walkie-talkie to transmit broadcasts over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. However, depending on the emergency, internet coverage may not be available.

Zello not only requires a strong internet connection, but also a connection to the company’s servers to function. It uses a form of Voice over IP (VOIP) to allow people to communicate, but it should not be used as the sole means of communication during an emergency.

Thankfully, Apple has added an important emergency feature to the iPhone 14 lineup. It’s called Emergency SOS via Satellite, and when it fully launches in November, it’ll make it easier to contact emergency services when Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity can’t be found.

It only shows up when there is absolutely no signal in the phone app on the bottom right. Users are prompted to point iPhone at a satellite using on-screen compass-like guidance. The feature limits communications to plain text communications due to satellite bandwidth limitations.

Another app called what3words is a geocoding system that can give responders a location. It is available for iOS 13 or later and iPadOS 13 or later. This app may use location data even when not open, which may decrease battery life.

The company has assigned a unique three-word combination to every 10-foot square worldwide. It is compatible with Apple Maps and can be used offline.

These apps and products can make a difference for people in emergencies. There are tons of variables, but emergencies can only be slightly improved by a few of these elements.

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