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Top Emergency Items for Emergency Preparedness for Survival

by Barbara 6. February 2011 07:18

Question Submitted to Ask Barbara Contest: "What are the top items you recommend for an emergency kit to keep at home?" Jacqueline

Answer: As I noted in my response to Jacqueline, giving an accurate list is difficult without more specifics. For example, does she live in a house or an apartment? Is it a cold or a hot location? Is it rural or city? Is she on well water or city water? (Some rural residents have propane or gasoline powered generators so that water or some power is available no matter what the situation.) Is she living in an earthquake zone, a flood plain, a tornado area?

This is an expansion of my response to her.

I do not know where you live or I could be more specific. These are not necessarily in the correct order. All homes should have these, in my opinion. The brand is not as important as having the items there. You can use rechargeable or battery lights.The Energizer Solar Lantern This unit has charging options that include solar panels, crank, primary batteries and car adaptors.This is an LED lantern with adjustable light output.

If you live in a southern climate, using solar panels to keep batteries charged to power a 12volt Koolatron cooler would be a great addition so you could have cool beverages and keep some food items from spoiling until the power returned. The solar panel I've included has a regulator on it so the 12V battery of your car, truck or RV won't be overcharged. What you don't want is a dead battery when you need to leave your home for a shelter or to get supplies when the emergency is over. A less expensive solar panel is the 50 watt Go Power solar panel with regulator

1. Flashlight or flashlight lantern and extra batteries

2.Weather Radio and extra batteries

3.Emergency medical kit. Also include at least a 7 day supply of Rx medications that you or family members require.

4. A survival kit either made by you or a company that includes drinking water,food bars,etc. Survivor Industries makes a variety of survival kits for different needs. The food and water both have a 5 year shelf life. This is a 3 day kit for 2 people This is a 3 day kit for 2 people. For a remote location or a flood or earthquake zone, I suggest you plan for a longer time without access to fresh or frozen foods. Small Office or Family Emergency Survival Kit by Survivor Industries offers both a medical kit and provisions to keep up to 5 people healthy and fed for up to 3 days. Both food and nutrition bars are included plus a deck of cards, tissue packs, flashlight, radio, etc.

5. The Aqua Pod fits in a bath tub and gives you water storage if you live in a hurricane, tornado or flood zone where your tap water will either not be available or its safety is in question. This unit includes a hand pump. The capacity is 65 gallons, enough for a family of 4 for 14 days. The unit includes three liners.  

Thank you for your question and your entry into the Ask Barbara Contest.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Lumens and Durability of a Solar 80 LED Outdoor Motion Security Light

by Barbara 16. June 2009 08:45

Question about the product Product Code: =TD-MXS-40225, the Maxsa Innovations Motion-Activated 80 LED Security Floodlight.

Q: "Are the led lights changeable on this Maxsa Innovations Motion-Activated 80 LED Security Floodlight? What number of lumens does this light give?" Neel

Answer: No, the 80 LED's are not changeable. However, they are rated for 30,000 to 40,000 hours of on time. The lumens are about that of a 40 watt halogen lamp.

Recently, a residential treatment center in New York state chose to equip their center with these lights as a cost-saving, security measure. For this security light, you need a ladder and not an electrician to install the lights. And with solar power you save on electricity, too. The 15 foot cable to the solar panel even lets you install the light inside a building if you choose. Included is a 6V 4ah sealed lead acid rechargeable battery. This light can detect motion up to 35 feet away within a 180 degree detection area. Time, motion sensitivity and LUX (daylight sensitivity) adjustments. And the light can activate up to 360 times on one charge when on for a minute at a time.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

Solar Panel Charging a Xantrex XPower Powerpack 1500 Watt Inverter

by Barbara 5. January 2009 05:49

Question about using a solar panel to recharge a Xantrex XPower Powerpack 802-1500.

Q: "I would like to purchase a Xantrex 802-1500, but can I charge it with a solar panel and would a 40 watt panel do the trick? Do you sell solar panels or would you know which one I would need. Thank you, John D."

Answer: A solar panel can be used to recharge this large capacity, cart mounting 1500 watt power inverter with built-in battery pack. According to the product manual, a 12-volt solar panel rated to produce a maximum of 12 amps can be used to charge XPower 1500 via the DC Power Socket. Once the solar panel’s DC plug is inserted into the DC Power Socket and the solar panel is placed in the sun, XPower 1500 will charge automatically just as with the AC Charger. With direct sunlight, a typical 3 Amp solar panel will charge XPower 1500 in about 24 hours. If the solar panel does not have a regulated output, disconnect it immediately after XPower 1500 is charged.

Remember that a solar panel large enough and with enough power to recharge the unit is quite expensive. For example, we sell the Go Power 110 Watt Solar Kit with Digital Regulator . This would take about 72 hours of direct sunlight to fully recharge the unit AFTER the initial charge. The specs are :Output Power: 110 W. Rated Current: 6.7 A. Rated Voltage 16.5 V. GPR-25 digital regulator Dimensions of panel 62.4 x 26 x 1.5.

There is risk of battery pack damage if you use a solar panel: 1. with an unregulated output 2. with one that exceeds 15 volts DC. 3. with a generator output not intended for battery charging. 4. if you leave a solar panel with an unregulated output connected after charging is complete.

Initial charge is about 36 hours. The 120VAC option is more certain if you don't have lots of sun. Using a 12V DC outlet takes 24 hours to recharge. Using 120VAC takes 6 to 8 hours' time to recharge a 100% discharged battery. Recharging time is based on using the supplied 5 amp charger, or charging from a vehicle lighter socket.

I recommend that you stay in an RV park periodically where you can recharge using AC unless you opt for a very expensive solar panel module.

Thanks for your very interesting question. Sincerely, Barbara

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12V products | power packs | RV products | solar panels

How Big a Solar Panel Will This Mount Hold?

by Barbara 3. August 2008 16:22

Question about the Go Power Universal Solar Panel Tilt Mount Kit:Item Code ARM-UNI

Q: "Will this hold a 200 watt solar panel or what size of panel does it hold?"

Answer: The solar panels we typically sell for this Tilt Mount Kit range from 5 watts to the more popular 10 watt and 20 watt panels. For those who plan on extended stays in wilderness areas and want the convenience of electricity without a noisy generator, we also sell solar panels up to the 110 watt solar panel that comes with a digital voltage regulator.

We contacted our Go Power distributor for the answer to using this with such a large solar panel. Here is his response"

" The tilt mount kit will hold a panel that large. However, remember that if the wind catches that panel, the panel will pull the mount off whatever it is attached to. This kit is designed to fold flat against an RV, boat, motor home, trailer, etc."

Specifications on this Tilt Mount Kit are as follows:

  • Lightweight: 0.7 kg / 1.55 lbs
  • Easy and quick to install
  • Ideal for boats, trucks, motor homes and trailers
  • Adjusts from 0-75 degrees
  • Tilting can increase performance up to 70%
  • Adjustable without tools
  • Dimensions 15.5 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara