Monday, August 29, 2011
For example, after returning to work following the February 2010 Snowpocalypse, when Philadelphia got hit with two Nor'Easters in one week, I had the need to swap batteries in my Motorola Droid. When coming home from work, a railroad switch got frozen and SEPTA (Philly's mass transit provider) dumped me off at Wayne Junction in North Philly. I.e., da hood. I'd failed to fully charge my phone before leaving the office, but since I was able to swap in a spare, I was able to call for my wife to come pick me up.
Now that I'm using an iPhone, I don't have a user-replaceable battery. So, I got a Duracell Instant USB Charger with Lithium ion battery, that I keep in my laptop bag. Several other rechargeable batteries are available here.
With cell phones being such an important part of modern communications, and especially since pay phones are now rare, it's important to be able to keep them running in an emergency.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
It looks like we made it through Hurricane Irene OK. Last night we started getting heavy rain and high winds.
Power for a good chunk of my neighborhood went out around midnight last night but was restored between 0930 and 1000 this morning. That lasted for about 45 minutes and it went out again. It was restored after about another hour. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll stay up but we still have some high wind gusts, so I won't be shocked if it goes out again.
This morning when I called PECO to report the outage I got a recorded message indicating that they are experiencing very high call volumes and to call back later.
I finished my preps before the storm, including putting some extra water bottles (about 2/3 full) in the freezer, and a bunch in the refrigerator, to help keep them cool in the event of a power outage. I already store water in empty cleaned 2L soda bottles, plus I filled the 7 gallon jug I take camping.
We made sure that all of our cell phones, iPods, and other rechargeable items were charged ahead of time, but I forgot my Yaesu VX-5 handheld 2m/70cm amateur radio, so that's currently out in my truck charging. I did confirm that the 12v outlet-to-Powerpole adapter works when connected to my Powergate, which is fed from my 70AH gel cell.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
It looks like there is a good chance that the Northeast US is going to get hit by Hurricane Irene this weekend. Depending on your location there are several things you can do to prepare, even at the last minute:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
First, my baby:
The Xterra comes with two cargo tie-downs near the lift gate. Unfortunately, they are cheap plastic and will pull out if
you put to much weight on them. So, I went to Home Depot and picked up a 4-pack of Stanley steel cargo tie-down shackles and a pack of selt-tapping sheet metal screws. I pulled out the OEM tie-downs and installed the metal tie-downs in their place. The screws go into sheet metal under the plastic, so they are secure. I used the left one this weekend to secure a 7 gal. water jug, worked great.
You may notice that I also added a cargo area cover. IMO, if you drive an SUV or a station wagon it's a good idea for security to cover up whatever you keep in the back. What people can't see won't tempt them.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011
The comment about defensive weaponry should be taken to heart, as well as the unspoken lesson about OPSEC.
(Click the comic to view full width.)