Disaster Tech


Like many of you, I’ve been watch­ing the events in Japan con­tin­ue to unfold, and per­haps think­ing to myself, “I’m glad some­thing that dev­ast­at­ing did­n’t hap­pen here”.

But what if it did, would you be pre­pared? I like to think that I am, but sadly, I’m prob­ably not.

Yes, I have a first aid kit, and I’ve got some camp­ing sup­plies, but it’s not organ­ized nor is it handy. And it’s likely not enough, which is why the Cana­dian Red Cross cre­ated these handy plans.

Get­ting Pre­pared
The Cana­dian Red Cross has this excel­lent resource for build­ing and main­tain­ing an Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Kit list­ing what you need to sur­vive for 72 hours or more.


Ok, step one is taken care of…or is it.
In my case, I’ve got pets so I need to extend my kit and plans a bit with this Emer­gency Pet Plan & Kit


Now I’m set, except for some of the tech. Usu­ally tech is the last thing you want in your kit; it requires power, isn’t easy to fix when it breaks, and does­n’t fare well when wet. Yet there are some excep­tions.

Gear­ing up
These plans and kits all call for a bat­tery or hand-crank flash­light and radio. And I’ve found one that suits my needs per­fectly.


The Etón FR160 self-powered safety radio uses hand crank or sol­ar power to re-charge the intern­al nick­el met­al-hydride bat­tery and fea­tures AM/FM radio and Envir­on­ment­al Canada weath­er band chan­nels to provide emer­gency weath­er information/public alerts. In addi­tion, the FR160 has an integ­rated LED flash­light, 3.5 mm head­phone out­put and a USB port for char­ging cell phones.


The unit is small, light­weight, and won’t take up valu­able space in any emer­gency kit.

Of course, I tried it out, and yes, it does work well. Radio recep­tion was fine, and the crank, while a bit noisy, did charge well.

And as a bonus, Etón Cor­por­a­tion con­trib­utes a por­tion of every Cana­dian Red Cross branded unit sold to sup­port the mis­sion of the Cana­dian Red Cross.

If you’re look­ing for more inform­a­tion on the FR160, you can check out the manu­al here (pdf).

And yes, this will find a home in my soon-to-be-com­plete emer­gency kit.

But I’m sure you’ve got some tech-thoughts on addi­tions to my kit — what tech would you pack in your kit?

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Published by Brad Grier

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