Severe Weather Emergency Essential Gadgets & Radio Shack Twitter Party (w. giveaway)

June 20, 2011 33 Comments »

Is your family prepared for severe weather when it hits your area?  
In the DC Metro area severe weather can range from snow and ice in the winter to power outages caused by summer thunderstorms. Growing up in California, being prepared meant stockpiling canned food and water in case of earthquakes.  Regardless of where you live and what qualifies as severe weather, it’s important to always be prepared.
RadioShack recently sent me an awesome selection of weather products that are now part of our emergency preparedness toolkit and shared some essentials for severe weather.
5 Severe Weather Preparedness Essentials
Desktop Weather Radio
1.  Weather Radio – A weather radio can be one of the most important items in your weather preparedness toolkit. According to FEMA, a weather radio can provide up to eight minute to move family and pets to a specially constructed safe room or secure locations.  Eight minutes can save your life and provide the crucial advance warning to get everyone to safety. The RadioShack® Desktop Weather Radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alerts ($79.99) provides local weather and warnings several minutes before other radio and TV broadcast alerts even if the electronic voice takes a little getting used to.  The weather radio can be programmed to monitor a loved one’s location or other locations of interest.
Eton Blackout Buddy
2.  Flashlight – To prepare for power outages, we recommend having a high-power flashlight or other lighting device with long run times in your toolkit, such as the Etón Red Cross BLACKOUT buddy emergency LED flashlight/nightlight or powerful LED beam such as the ICONTM Flashlight Rogue 2 ($49.99) which has run times of up to 75 hours. 
The Etón Blackout Buddy ($14.99) is a device that we can keep plugged in at all times, even when there isn’t a blackout.  Eton plugs in and recharges from the wall outlet while acting like a night light and has dual features in its compact size.  It will automatically light its 3 bright LEDs so it can be used as an emergency flashlight or act as a single LED nightlight.
Icon Flashlight
I took the ICON flashlight ($49.99) on a recent camping trip and found that its compact size combined with high power LED beam illuminated dark areas nicely while fitting comfortably in my hand thanks to it’s lightweight aluminum body.  The flashlight also features a high output and lower setting that helps conserve battery power in emergency situations.  Little Miss Techie loved this device so much that she gave me her flashlight as a trade.  Harumph!
Enercell Portable Power Bank
3.  Portable Power Supply – One of the worst parts of power outages is not being able to charge your cell phone to stay in touch with family members and loved ones. Portable power device like the Enercell® 2400Ah Portable Power Bank ($29.99-49.99) can provide 5-8 hours of additional talk time if the electricity is out. An iPod® and iPhone® version is also available.  Note: The duration of the portable power supply has not been tested for excessive Angry Birds play.
Midland GTX10000VP4 50 Channel
4.  Walkie Talkies – Walkie Talkies ensure you are able to communicate with family members, loved ones, or neighbors in an emergency situation in the case of cell phone tower damage or power outages.  The Midland® GTX10000VP4 50-Channel GMRS/FRS Radio (2-Pack) ($89.99) is a great choice for any emergency kit because it has up to a 36-mile range and 28 extra channels to use for communication.  Other features include an SOS siren for sending out distress/locator signals in an emergency situation and a built in NOAA weather radio for weather updates on the go.
5.  Comfort Items – Let each child choose 1-2 items to put in the weather preparedness toolkit, such as a toy, game or personal item to help keep your child/children occupied and calm in the case you have to take shelter for a long period of time. 
GIVEAWAY: Since RadioShack wants your family to be prepared for any kind of weather, they are providing an emergency preparedness kit containing many of the items mentioned above!
TO ENTER: Leave a comment sharing a time when your family wasn’t prepared in severe weather by Friday, July 8 at 12:00 pm EST.  Include your Twitter handle or email address.
For extra entries, complete the above and RSVP for any of the upcoming RadioShack Twitter parties by leaving a comment with your Twitter handle and the date of the party you plan to attend.  Here are the upcoming dates and topics:
  • Monday, June 20, 7-8 p.m. EST: Road Trip Gadgets
  • Monday, June 27, 7-8 p.m. EST: The Shack’s Guide to Outdoor Activities 

All Twitter attendees will be entered to win several gadgets for portable power from RadioShack by following @RadioShack on Twitter and using the hashtags #RSPowerHour #RadioShackTSM to participate in the party on June 20 from 7-8 pm EST and June 27 from 7-8 pm EST

And there’s more!  As a thank you for attending, Tech Savvy Mama readers will have we also have a chance to win some exclusive prizes including:
Twitter party fine print: RadioShack will choose and announce winners Twitter party winners by 9 pm EST. You must be following @RadioShack and use #RSPowerHour and #RadioShackTSM in your tweet to be eligible to win! Exclusive Tech Savvy Mama reader prizes will be awarded by 8 p.m. each night.
Giveaway fine print: Eligible comments for this giveaway must be received by Friday, July 8 at 12:00 pm EST. Winner will selected by and contacted via email or DMed on Twitter. Winner has 24 hours to respond with a US shipping address and their phone number or another winner will be selected.  Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama and RadioShack are not responsible for items lost, damaged, or delayed during shipping.

RadioShack provided items for review purposes. No compensation was received for this post, hosting the giveaway, or sharing the Twitter party information. All opinions are my own.  Images courtesy of RadioShack.

Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!

Original post by Tech Savvy Mama

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  1. Anthony from CharismaticKid June 20, 2011 at 10:20 am -

    Didn’t realize how useful RadioShack could actually be. Honestly thought it was a rundown store kept open only by nerds and electricians.

  2. Lexiquin June 20, 2011 at 10:36 am -

    I can’t really remember a time we weren’t prepared–that’s probably thanks to my Dad who taught me to always have certain things on hand in case of an emergency. We’re lucky because we haven’t experienced the same kind of devastation other parts of the country have; however, we were without electricity once for five days. I was sure glad we had a wood stove to heat water on so I could take a “spit-bath” every day.
    @Lexiquin hopes to be at your party tonight.

  3. morninglight mama June 20, 2011 at 10:43 am -

    Long ago, we returned to our old apartment building during a big storm and there were no lights in the stairwell. Since we didn’t have any sort of emergency kit in our car, we stumbled down to our apartment and then had to scramble to find any flashlights. What can I say, we were really young. 🙂

  4. Cindy June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am -

    rsvp for June 20th radio shack twitter party – @bobisyellow

  5. Cindy June 20, 2011 at 10:49 am -

    every time the power goes out, we cannot find flashlights or candles.

  6. Dana June 20, 2011 at 10:55 am -

    I remember traveling home to visit my parents for the Holidays. It wasreally late at night and it started to snow…then the next thing I knew, it was coming down so hard you couldn’t see 2 feet in front of you. I didn’t have any food or water in the car w/me and I didn’t even have a blanket. Luckily the storm Blew over very quickly but for about 45min-hour I wasn’t sure of what I was going to do or how I was going to make it to my parents.

  7. Dana June 20, 2011 at 10:58 am -

    I am planning on attending Monday, June 20, 7-8 p.m. EST: Road Trip Gadgets

    We are planning a roadtrip with the kids in 2 weeks. We will be driving from TX to NC over 1200 miles each way.



  8. Lexiquin June 20, 2011 at 11:06 am -

    I thought I left a comment earlier, but after I restarted the computer (because FF had crashed), I couldn’t see it here…so, I’ll write something again (and if it’s a duplicate, I apologize). We are usually pretty well-prepared (probably because my Dad always told me how important it was to be ready for anything/everything). We haven’t experienced the devastation that other parts of the country has, however, we were without electricity (because of a severe windstorm) for five days. I was sure glad we had a wood stove so that I could heat up water to bathe.
    @Lexiquin hopes to be at your party tonight. Thanks!

  9. Social Worky Family Girl June 20, 2011 at 11:08 am -

    @swfamilygirl or swfamilygirl at gmail dot com

    My family is from South FL, and we have dealt with our fair share of natural annoyances, as I like to call them. We have been without power for weeks, replaced our roof, and had to add built on shutters for our upstairs windows. The additions to the home are due to being unprepared. However, we always did have a good radio and flashlight!

  10. Social Worky Family Girl June 20, 2011 at 11:10 am -

    RSVP for Road Trip Gadgets!

    swfamilygirl at gmail dot com

  11. ewffan June 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm -

    I live in the high desert in Southern California. One year we were not prepared for the snow….yes we had heavy snow for 3 days. Our Directv went out (too much snow on the disc)so hubby tried to find a flashlight so he could go outside and see what was up, but of course none of them had good batteries in them so they were very dim. Since we never had that bad of snow before (too much snow on the streets the City couldn’t handle clearing them) so good for us I had just went to the grocery store and had plenty of food for our “home vacation”. Since then I have made it a point to always have good batteries on hand.
    sylivys at hotmail dot com

  12. ewffan June 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm -

    Here is my RSVP for the Radio Shack Twitter Party for June 20 Road Trip Gadgets, my twitter username is ewffan
    sylivys at hotmail dot com

  13. tannawings June 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm -

    Living in the MidWest with the shifts in weather we have we do try to stay pretty prepared. The only time I can think of when we havent been is when the batteries have died in the little portable radio I keep in the basement (they die after awhile)

  14. tannawings June 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm -

    @tannawings RSVP for Monday, June 20, 7-8 p.m. EST: Road Trip Gadgets

    See ya then!
    I like the other subject too- might go to both 🙂

  15. Omega Doom (Alan) June 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm -

    omegadoom1 at

    When I was a young boy, our streets were flooded after a large rainstorm. The flood occurred because the sewer drains were clogged with debris from the storm. Luckily our house was elevated because the street was under 4 feet of water.

  16. alexandra June 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm -

    During the last few Pepco outages we found ourselves with non working flashlights. I could really use this R.S. kit!

  17. Omega Doom (Alan) June 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm -

    Monday, June 20, 7-8 p.m. EST: Road Trip Gadgets

    twitter: Dryden13

  18. Omega Doom (Alan) June 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm -

    RSVP Monday, June 27, 7-8 p.m. EST: The Shack’s Guide to Outdoor Activities

    twitter: Dryden13

  19. ksceviour June 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm -

    we defaintely wasnt prepared last summer! We went camping,it was so nice at the beginning,then it started to to rain,and rain,,and it was freezing col! We were in tents,and the temp went down to 0 degrees(thats here in canada) was freezing!! wasnt nice at all! lol
    ksceviour at hotmail dot com

  20. ksceviour June 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm -

    I am attending the jun 20th party,as well as the jun 27th party

  21. tannawings June 21, 2011 at 12:27 am -

    I will be attending the party the 27th too

    PS- we are under a tornado watch right now!

  22. Meredith c June 21, 2011 at 3:16 am -

    one summer our power went out for about 4hrs, conviently at night.. we had flashlights but the batteries died maybe 20mins after we turned them on.. i remember that was the longest and most bolring 4hrs of my life lol
    wuera_mermaid22 at

  23. Meredith c June 21, 2011 at 3:18 am -

    i wil be attending 6/27 party

  24. Robin (noteverstill) June 21, 2011 at 9:57 am -

    I had just moved in to my very first ‘just-mine’ apartment, three days before starting graduate school, and there was a freak wind shear (vertical wind storm). A tree came through the window and landed on my bed! I was hiding in the closet, with no flashlight, because I hadn’t unpacked yet!

  25. Aimee @ Smiling Mama June 21, 2011 at 11:54 am -

    Those are really great items! I don’t know if this was a “severe” emergency, but it was scary…. we had a babysitter and the power went out. I was totally unprepared! She called my cell (from her cell) and I literally couldn’t tell her where to find a flashlight or even candles and matches. I had to come home and scour the house for those items–in the dark! Luckily she and Lucas were fine and it made Abel and I get better prepared for future emergencies.

  26. susanlanai June 25, 2011 at 6:12 am -

    Sadly, we weren’t prepared once when we had a hurricane approaching and had to scramble at the last minute. It was so difficult and scary not to have the items ready. We had to learn the hard way!

  27. susanlanai June 25, 2011 at 6:13 am -

    I hope to attend the June 27 party.

  28. ewffan June 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm -

    I will be attending the party on 6/27
    twitter name ewffan
    sylivys at hotmail dot com

  29. Anonymous June 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm -

    One time I wasn’t prepared was when I was out taking some photos in the middle of the countryside and some really bad weather showed up. I had to stop at a stranger’s house to seek refuse from the hail!


    writeme at heidimail dot com

  30. Michelle June 30, 2011 at 12:54 am -

    The closest we’ve come to having a weather related issue was summer before last. I was at my local Target with my three kids when a tornado touched down! The employees gathered everyone in the center of the store and we waited it out…thankfully everyone was safe!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  31. tannawings July 10, 2011 at 12:31 am -

    Hoping to hear on this one- we ar having a thunderstorm now 😛