This biweekly column is written and sponsored by the Arlington Office of Emergency Management.
What says “I care” more than fun gadgets and games that’ll help loved ones during an emergency?! Just in time for the kick-off of holiday shopping, we put together a list of some of our favorite preparedness items everyone on your holiday shopping list will appreciate!
- Water filtration system: From tablets to personal filtration straws, there’s a huge variety to fit the needs of the hiker in your life.
- Camp stove: These small, packable stoves can be either alcohol, or wood burning (or a combination of both). Just remember to always use them outside!
- Multi Tool: With combinations of every tool but the kitchen sink, multi tools can help you saw down small trees, tighten screws, cut up your meals and open bottles.
- Lights: From headlights to lanterns, your outdoor enthusiast will appreciate more (lights have a habit of walking away). Look for fun lights that are hands free and can be used hiking, camping or in the house when the power’s out!
- Emergency phone charger: Today’s selection in phone chargers is huge. From a quick “pocket juice” to solar chargers, chargers are varied and priced for everyone.
- Encrypted thumb drive: Encryption allows the safe storage of personal information that your tech-savvy friend will appreciate.
- Weather radio: The weather radio deserves some new attention. With features like hand-crank and self-power, combined with Bluetooth technology, flashlights and solar charging, weather radios could be a surprise hit!
For the Commuter: Traffic and Metro delays. Rainy and snowy walk/bicycle commutes. Looking for a unique gift to ease the pain of commuting? Check out these fantastic preparedness items!
- Hand warmers: The walker, biker or driver will appreciate these on a cold day. Perfect for the car emergency kit, they’re light and easy to pack into a commuting bag, purse or backpack.
- Whistle: While more manufactures have incorporated whistles into the straps of backpacks, these are always great items to have on hand in your car emergency kit, or as a pedestrian.
- Emergency hammer: For the driver in your life, these allow users to break the windows of cars, even when submerged under water.
- Dry sacks: Available in an array of sizes from wallet to duffle bag, dry sacks keep the contents completely dry inside, even when dumped in water (they float too!).
For the Novelist: Have an avid reader in your life? Consider a book that’ll help them survive in the event of a disaster. Some of our favorites include:
- SAS Survival Handbook: A basic handbook on survival skills, including weather, building shelters, finding food, first aid and more.
- The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why: Award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley traces the responses of people through multiple disasters, including the World Trade Center during 9/11 and the Air Florida Flight 90 that crashed into the Potomac River, to determine how and why humans behave during a disaster and how we can improve our chances for survival.