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Emergencies can come in all sizes. You can have the big stuff – like floods, or fire or storms – that makes the headlines, or you can have a small-scale occurrence just affecting a few people.
I was caught up in a thunderstorm today threw thunderbolts that took the power out and high winds that brought down a few trees. Nothing big, but it made me glad that I had my emergency gear in order, not just for my own safety and comfort, but so I could help others and call the relevant emergency services and utility companies to get things sorted.
Over the years I've learned that having some well-designed kit close to hand can make all the difference during an emergency (small or large). Here's a look at some of the tech-related kit that I've found most useful over the years.
UPS and/or surge protection
I've lost count of the number of times my power line has either cut out or been hit by lightning, and without a decent UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) I hate to think how much of a toll this would have taken on my electronics.
I recommend getting a UPS with enough capacity to run your PC gear at least long enough for you to be able to turn the PC off. A good example of a decent consumer/home office grade UPS is the Xfinity Pro Series 2000VA 1200W device.
Failing that, get a surge protector. While that won't protect you from power cuts and brownouts, it will prevent lighting and power surges from killing your gear.
Having the ability to throw some light on a situation always makes it seem better. And when you're constantly diving under desks or delving inside PCs, having a flashlight that fits into your pocket is very handy. I prefer to go with an LED flashlight these days because they last much longer than incandescent bulbs and the batteries last a lot longer too.
There are plenty of LED flashlights to choose from, starting at the high end like Surefire, going all the way down to a cheapo plastic thing you can pick up at a gas station for a dollar.
I've just picked up a new LED flashlight – the EagleTac D25A – and it seems to tick all the boxes for me. It has variable output, it's small enough to fit into my pocket, it’s powered by a single AA battery, and it's tough enough survive daily use.