Southern California has been rattling and rolling recently with a series of earthquakes. As if we could forget all the fault lines we live on here, these quakes are a reminder that we need to be prepared in case of a natural disaster or other emergency. Solar-powered products can be a necessary staple of your emergency supply box. Here are some items to consider:
Solar-powered flashlights or lanterns: There are a variety of these products on the market, some with emergency backup battery systems. Most are usually powered by small solar panels.
Radios: Look for a radio that offers AM and FM, as well as weather channels. Some also come with reading lights and USB ports to charge phones and handheld devices.
Ovens: These cooking stoves can bake, broil, or steam food (but not fry). You can either move the oven around to track the sun's movement for fast cooking, or keep it where it is to use is like a slow cooker. In a pinch, some solar-powered ovens can also be used to sterilize water or dishes, dry firewood, heat water for cleaning, or dehydrate produce.
Generators: These portable kits come with chargers and a small set of solar panels to provide power when the electricity is out. Some provide AC power, others also provide DC power. Whether you buy online or at a hardware store, you'll want to talk to a knowledgeable salesperson to figure out what kind of system is best for your needs.