Are weather radios useful?

 

Weather radios are designed to keep you informed on the latest weather changes. Most importantly, they provide you with alerts of natural impending disasters that take place close by and that can affect you in a serious way. Whenever this happens, the NOAA Weather Radio sends a civil alert, specifying the type and the region or regions where the natural hazard will take place. So, if you’re wondering if weather radios are useful, the answer to that question is “Yes, they are”. Moreover, you don’t always have to listen to the weather news on the radio to receive natural hazards alerts. Though NOAA uses a special frequency to broadcast its news, which cannot be intercepted by a usual AM/FM device, most of the items that include the VHF frequency can also be set on other frequencies for you to listen to other radio channels as well. However, weather alert radios are programmed to interrupt any other transmission when a civil alert is issued.

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How to use a weather radio?

Weather radios function using the SAME codes technology. To be able to receive weather alerts for your region, you need to search the SAME code attributed to your county, go into your radio’s menu and insert this code. Once this operation finished, your radio will receive all weather alerts issued for your county. You can easily find all SAME codes on the internet.

 

How long do weather radios last?

Weather radios can last up to 200 hours using battery backup energy in standby mode. However, if a radio functions continuously, the batteries are able to keep it running for approximately 24 hours.

 

What’s the best weather radio to buy?

When you buy a product, it is advisable that you pick a device that has the NOAA logo on it that ensures the product has been evaluated and approved by them. For the rest, the choice belongs entirely to you, as there are a large number of companies producing such devices. One of the most renowned manufacturers is Midland, producing weather radios and two-way radios as well. The company began its activity in the 70’s and, since then, it has developed into one of the world leaders in this area, with representation in major countries around the world like France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The United Kingdom, Russia or Singapore.

 

So, if you are looking for a highly functional weather alert radio, you can fully rely on the products provided by them. The more recent Midland products come with automatic frequency change in case of an alert, (so even if you are not listening to the weather radio channel, you will receive the issued alert), color alert, meaning that the radio will indicate the severity of the alert by using a color code, and sound or voice notification. They also include other functions, such as alarm clocks or single or multiple S.A.M.E. code options that will allow you to receive weather alerts issued for various counties.

 

Furthermore, if you need a weather alert radio for camping and trips, these guys produce great outdoor devices, fitted with antennas that will intercept radio signal in any place and under any weather conditions. If you own a portable item, in case of a power outage, make sure you have plenty of batteries with you or that you have a device that is fitted with a hand-crank power generator that will keep it functioning for a long time. However, most of these radios function on batteries that can keep them running for days, and they have energy saving mechanisms.

 

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The Most Important Features of a Multi-purpose Weather Radio

 

Emergency radios are a must in areas where natural disasters have the bad habit of striking at least once in a while, if not regularly. Staying informed on the latest events in your area can mean the difference between life and death in some cases, which is why so many people have them in their homes. Not all weather radios are alike, though, and there are some that come equipped with extra features that will help you go through such tough times easier and with better results for you and your family. Here are some features you should look for in a weather radio, if you want to consider purchasing the multi-purpose type.

2.Why buy a multipurpose weather radio

Start with the basics

Remember that a weather radio has as its most important role the ability to inform you on the evolution of events in your area. An AM/FM receiver is a must, because NOAA transmits their messages via AM radio. So, stay away from radios with only FM frequencies, as these will not be able to receive the messages transmitted by NOAA. The good news is that all weather radios are capable of receiving NOAA messages, which is why a special radio is recommended instead of a standard one.

If you want to make sure that you are getting the right thing, search for the NOAA NWR All Hazards logo, as this will let you know the model is a weather radio.

 

SAME

A feature to look for in a weather radio is SAME, which stands for Specific Alert Message Encoding. The most important role of SAME is to deliver messages that are specific for a certain area or county. This way, the messages concerning disasters and alerts in your area will have priority and you will not be bothered with news about what is happening across the country.

 

Multiple power sources

It is important to have a weather radio that can be charged or powered from different sources. Some models run on batteries, and these are the most recommended. However, if you really want to be safe, get a model that comes with an AC adapter and that can also be charged manually with a hand crank. This way, even if you run out of batteries, or you do not have electricity, you will still be able to charge it and follow the latest news.

 

Additional features

A multi-purpose weather radio can help you in many ways. Some can be used as flashlights, and this is important if you need to find your way in the dark. Models with on board battery packs are great because they allow you to charge your mobile devices, so you can keep in touch with the world. Plus, if you have to deal with a cranky kid, offering them a charged tablet filled with fun apps will keep them enough entertained. Search for models that are properly protected against falls and drops, so you do not have to worry that your weather radio might break just when you need it most – during an emergency.

 

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How Does a Weather Radio Work?

 

If you live in an area where natural disasters occur from time to time, or you simply want to stay informed on weather changes, getting a weather radio is the best way to reach your goal. The National Weather Service issues messages only on certain frequencies that cannot be picked up by a standard radio. There are plenty of weather radios around, some with more features, others just basic, but they are all capable of receiving the important messages sent by NOAA.

1.How does a weather radio work

Learn the frequencies

The most important thing you need to know when using a weather radio is the frequencies on which NOAA transmits their important messages. These are, as follows:

 

       162.400

       162.425

       162.450

       162.475

       162.500

       162.525

       162.550

 

These seven frequencies are the ones used by NOAA. Some weather radios are capable of switching to the needed frequency in case an alert is issued, but the above information may help you if you do not have such a device.

 

Place the weather radio correctly

Another thing you may find useful to know is how to place your weather radio correctly, so you can receive the important transmissions. A good recommendation is to place your radio near a window that faces one of the NOAA’s transmitters. In general, weather radios currently sold on the market have good reception, but there can be situations where you may not be able to receive the messages as clear as you may want.

For instance, if you live in an area that is more mountainous, getting an extra antenna to improve reception quality is quite a must. Also, if your home is near tall buildings that can block the signal, this can be a problem, as well. The good news is that many weather radios have a built-in antenna jack you can use for extending reception capabilities.

 

The tone alarm

If something happens and you are not in the same room with the radio or you are asleep, you may miss the alert. Luckily, this is not possible, for the simple reason that weather radios will emit a 1050Hz tone alarm when an alert is issued. Even more, the alert activates the radio and turns it on, so, even if you sleep soundly, you will still hear the alarm and you will be able to start preparing for evacuation or for staying inside until the weather calms down.

 

Have batteries around

Since most weather radios are battery powered, it serves to have plenty of batteries around. This way, you will be able to have an up and running weather radio that will keep you in touch with all the latest changes in weather.

 

What SAME stands for

SAME is an important feature of weather radio. It prioritizes the messages and alerts issued for your specific area, so you do not get alerted over disasters and important weather changes that are too far away from you to affect you in any way.

 

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All You Need to Know About Survival Equipment for Spring Floods

 

Spring floods can cause a lot of damage and being prepared for them in case you live in an area where you can be affected is of the utmost importance. If this type of disaster comes your way, there are two major situations to consider: staying inside your home, or leaving the premises. Either way, being informed on the latest news is important, which is why having a weather radio is highly recommended. With the help of such a device, you will be able to stay in touch with the latest developments, and learn when it is safe to leave your location or go back home.

2.The best survival equipment for the spring floods

First things first: food and water

In case you decide to remain in your home, alone or together with your family, the first necessities to consider are food and water. Make sure you have enough for all the people who are going to stay inside the house for at least three days. One gallon of water per person for daily usage should be a good starting point, and, as far as food is concerned, stock on foods that do not spoil. Canned foods are a good choice, and consider the fact that electricity may be out for several days at least.

 

Emergency tools

There are many things that can go wrong while spring floods are wrecking havoc in your neighborhood. Having all the necessary emergency tools nearby is advisable. A fire extinguisher is a must, preferably one that can extinguish local fires; a flashlight and enough batteries for it should also be on your list. Do not forget about a weather radio that is also battery powered. With its help, you will keep up to date with everything that happens outside and you will know when it is safe to go out of the house and start repairing the damages.

 

Items for your family’s well being

Staying cooped up inside with nothing to do can make any person get bored and annoyed. Especially if you have kids, things can get rather unpleasant when they will start getting on your already stretched nerves. Make sure that you have plenty of toys and games to keep them entertained, the types that do not need a computer or any other electricity powered device. Your family’s well being depends on many things, so making a list can help you. Write down things such as toiletries, proper clothing, blankets, special items members of your family may need and so on.

Do not forget about getting a first aid kit in case someone gets injured by accident. Medication for common ailments is also a must, as well as those needed for the chronically ill. Make sure you have plenty of cash at hand, since it may be a while until local ATMs could be usable.

 

In brief

From a weather radio to keep in touch with all the alerts, to all the emergency tools and necessities required, being prepared for the spring floods can take your family through tough times without difficulty.

 

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5 Tips for a Safe Camping Trip

 

Embarking on a camping trip requires plenty of preparation. Due to the natural excitement that accompanies such a trip, you may overlook some important aspects that can turn your trip into a not so pleasant experience. Staying safe is the most important thing to keep in mind, which is why the following tips are focused on helping you protect yourself and your family against any mishaps that may occur.

1.5 tips for a safe camping trip

Bring food and water

Safe sources of food and water may be tough to find in the area you plan to visit. Especially water can pose many problems, since clean sources are not available everywhere. Make sure to pack enough bottled water for all the people who are traveling with you, as well as pets. To have everyone safe, healthy and happy, is after all, your permanent goal and that is why you need to consider such aspects first. Foods that do not spoil should be on your list, right after water, along with proper storage.

 

Be aware of wild life

Wild life does not mean only curious bears that are attracted by the smell of your food. All kinds of animals lurk in the wild, and some may not seem as dangerous as the aforementioned species. Refrain from touching them or getting in contact with them, as they can carry a wide range of diseases. Get vaccinated, and do the same for the entire family, so that you do not have to rush to the emergency room instead of enjoying your vacation.

Not all wild life will make its presence known by simply appearing in your field of view. Small critters like mosquitoes and bugs can have a pretty nasty sting or bite, so be prepared with all that is needed for repelling them or for treating the occasional problems.

 

Keep warm or cold

Depending on where you are traveling, excessive cold or sun exposure can be a major problem. The first situation requires you to pack enough warm clothes for you and everyone else, as well as blankets and other means to keep warm. If the sun is bright in the sky, and sun burns and heat stroke could be a problem, make sure the clothes everyone wears is capable to diminishing the impact. Pack a sunscreen cream and bring hats that can protect your face. Wear loose fitting clothes and do not spend too much time in the sun.

 

Have a weather radio with you

When you are spending time in an area you do not know that well, disasters may hit at any moment. A good idea would be to have a weather radio with you, the battery powered type, preferably. This type of radio will keep you informed on any weather changes that can ruin your camping trip.

2.5 tips for a safe camping trip

Get protection equipment

Kids, but not only, can get injured when performing various activities in the wild. Pack some helmets, life jackets and any other protection equipment you may need in order to keep everyone safe during the family camping trip.

 

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Earthquake preparedness

 

You feel the earth rapidly shaking under you. You see light fixtures swaying. Those items you have on those high shelves could suddenly fall to the floor any minute. For some reason, you feel dizzy but have been feeling okay till now. You look at everybody else around you with their faces contorted in panic. Yes, you are in the middle of an earthquake, and you can’t figure out why those essential pointers in earthquake drills just seem too impossible to remember.

3.Earthquake preparedness

Without warning, an earthquake can strike suddenly. It is caused by the shifting and breaking of the rock underneath the surface of the earth. It can happen regardless of the time of day, with about 45 states and territories in the US being at moderate to very high risk of having earthquakes. To find out if your area belongs to these locations, get in touch with the local American Red Cross. the locale emergency management agency, the department of natural resources or the state geological survey.

During an earthquake, any home not attached to a foundation such as a mobile home is at a particular risk. In addition, homes that have foundations built on landfills or other unstable soil structures also have an increased risk of damage.

You never know when an earthquake could occur, but it always pays to be prepared. Always be aware of the earthquake safety plans and fire evacuation routes in the building/s you frequently occupy. Pinpoint the safest places to be at in your workplace, home or school and formulate a route to easily get there from anywhere in the building. Doorways have long been considered the safest locations to be at during earthquakes, but they are no stronger than any other part of a building. The best place to take shelter in are: against an interior wall not near a window, bookcase or tall furniture, or under a sturdy piece of furniture that you can hold onto so you can be shielded from falling items.

Earthquakes can result in power outages and getting cut off from the outside world. Always have an emergency supplies kit in an easily accessible location, and be sure to include the best hand crank weather radio in the kit, as well as a flashlight. The kit should also include water, non-perishable food, extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and medical items, sanitation and personal hygiene products, a cellphone with charger, a multipurpose tool, family and emergency contact info, extra cash, copies of personal or vital documents, a map of your area and an emergency blanket.

Overhead light fixtures should be adequately braced. You should also know how to shut off gas valves in your property. Make sure to have a wrench handy for that purpose.

 

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What to do when you’re snowed in

 

You can take being snowed in as a blessing or a curse, but why not simply accept that there’s not much you can do about the situation and focus your energies on things that are constructive and productive instead of looking at everything as boring and terrible? The holidays may be over but if you’re still snowed in, here are some things worth spending your time on.

2.What to do when you’re snowed in

 

Do marathon watching.

Being snowed in is the perfect opportunity to catch up on the episodes of your favorite TV series that you may have missed during your busier days. In addition, you could watch that movie that everybody else has been talking about except you. The Internet can be a huge godsend during this time, and if you have On Demand or Netflix, that would be so much better.

 

Enjoy some great snow drinks while planning your next vacation.

Pack some snow up to make tasty snow ice cream, accompanied by some hot chocolate. You can add some marshmallows to the mix. To combat cabin fever, do more than just watch reruns of TV shows by getting early into the spirit of summer. How do you do that? Plan your next vacation! A study has proven that planning a vacation seems to provide greater enjoyment than taking it, and there’s no better time than being snowed in to make vacation plans. Do your own travel planning. Research on specific landmarks you’d love to see or a destination that’s a perfect fit for your interests. You can even start learning a new language if you’re planning to take a trip out of the country.

 

Do some work or cleaning or learn a new skill.

When your days are all caught up attending to the demands of your career, you could still get some work done so it doesn’t pile up when you go back to your normal schedule. Although not enjoyable, doing work is still one of the most beneficial things you can do. Catch up on emails, prepare proposals, pay bills, or crunch numbers while listening to your favorite music.

Cleaning has always been an effective means to destress yourself, since you can control the level of the activity according to how you feel. Clean the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. Perform some decluttering on your messy home. Do the laundry while waiting for some cookies you are baking or while watching a movie.

If you’ve been dying to master a new skill, being snowed in provides the perfect opportunity to see if you’re really cut out for it. You could master the art of home cooking, which is perfect since you get to eat your mistakes. You could start on repair or DIY projects, or learn the rudiments of photography. YouTube is a rich resource for this.
Sort the junk you have accumulated into different boxes, classifying one box for stuff you’ll keep, stuff you’ll store, items you’ll sell or donate and things that should go in the trash. Digitize what you can. For the sentimental things, take photos of them and dispose. Figure out how to automate chores so you always have more time to handle the most essential ones.



Just have stress-less days.

Do what you have been meaning to do but have been unable to till now. Read a book. Play games with your kids. Sleep in and take a nap when you want to. Discover your inner child by playing in the snow, making sure you’re all bundled up. Do yoga, meditate, enjoy a luxurious warm bath.

The bottomline: embrace the glory of having time off by doing something relaxing and that can recharge you.

 

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How to prepare for hurricane season

 

Whether or not it’s hurricane season, you need to be prepared long before to ensure that you and your family are safe and sound during that most critical part of the calendar, especially when you reside in an area frequented by this devastating weather phenomenon. This is also true if you plan to travel to such an area, as even those that are far inland from the coastline can get tornadoes, strong winds, floods and mudslides from tropical storms. You might live in the Northwest Pacific, where such disturbances are called typhoons, in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, where they are called hurricanes, or near the Indian Ocean or South Pacific, where they are called cyclones, but the degree of devastation and destruction is virtually the same.

1.hurricane season

 

It always pays to be basically prepared.

The best weather radio supplies the information you need on where to go when you are ordered to evacuate. Make sure to be aware of the routes for local hurricane evacuation in your area and always plan where to stay there. You can get more information from your local emergency management agency.

Assemble a disaster supply kit way ahead of time. This should include a flashlight, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash, along with copies of the critical information for you and the rest of the family should you have to evacuate.

If you live in an area that has not been advised to evacuate, staying at home requires that you have sufficient supplies in the event of power outages and loss of water supply for several days. Anticipate that you may not be able to leave your home because of blocked roads or flooding.

Plan a means of emergency communication with the rest of your household. Plenty of communities offer email alert or text systems through which emergency notifications can be posted. You can simply do an Internet search for any available alerts in your specific area.

 

Hurricane-proof your home.

Make sure to remove or trim damaged limbs and trees for safety to you and your home. Check your house for any loose downspouts and gutters. Debris should be cleared along with any clogged areas so as to prevent water damage. Retrofit to ensure you have a reinforced and secure roof, doors and windows as well as garage doors. This ensures decreased damage to your property.

Get a portable generator or have one installed to handle power outages. Keep generators and alternative heat and power sources outdoors at least 20 feet away from doors and windows while being shielded from moisture. Never attempt to juice up the wiring of your home by plugging a generator into a standard wall outlet. You could build an International Code Council (ICC) 500 storm shelter or a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) safe room that is engineered for protection in locations above flooding levels and from high winds.

 

Know the stages to take note of when watching for a hurricane.

A hurricane warning is issued to expect conditions within 36 hours. At this stage, you should check in with friends and family via social media or texting. If local officials release orders to evacuate, follow them. Have a hurricane timeline preparedness checklist ready. To get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions, turn on the radio or TV. Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Since you may have to leave quickly, plan ahead and review the evacuation plan with the family. Make sure your car is in perfect running condition and the gas tank is full. Stock your car with a change of clothes and emergency supplies.

When the storm is coming within 18 to 36 hours, you must ensure that you can get storm updates and emergency instructions quickly by bookmarking your county or city website. Any loose or lightweight objects could become harmful projectiles in high winds, so bring such items as garbage cans and patio furniture inside. For items that are unsafe to bring indoors, such as propane tanks, make sure to have them anchored firmly to something solid. Also, you should charge your cellphone at this time to make sure you have a full battery. Cover all your windows using permanent storm shutters, or you can board them up instead using marine or exterior grade plywood.

Six hours before the hurricane arrives, you should already have an idea whether your area has been marked for evacuation. If not, stay at home or where you are and inform family and friends of your location. Make sure all storm shutters are closed shut and steer clear of windows to ensure safety from flying broken glass. The refrigerator or freezer should be turned to the coldest setting and should be opened only when absolutely needed to ensure that stored food can last long. When power comes back on, a thermometer kept inside the freezer or fridge allows you to have an idea of the food temperature.

Make sure to have your TV or radio on for updates, or check the specific city or county website for your area every half hour for the latest emergency instructions and weather updates.

 

When the storm passes, you should still stay on the alert.

Listen to any announcements and instructions from local officials. Make sure to return home only when it is indicated to be safe to do so. Check in with friends and family via social media or texting. Be wary of downed power lines and debris. Do not walk or drive through flooded areas if possible, as high waters can sweep you away or be potential electrocution hazards due to fallen or underground power lines. To facilitate filing of insurance claims, photograph the damage to your property as proof. Do whatever is necessary to keep further damage from happening, since the insurance may not cover such instances as they occur in the aftermath of the storm.

 

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Hand crank weather radios and their advantages

 

Advantages of a hand crank weather radio

 

Many people may think that with all of today’s available technology hand crank weather radios are outdated and no longer necessary. The opposite is actually true, and these compact radios could end up being one of the most important tools in the emergency kit. While the main advantage of a weather radio that is manually powered is that you don’t have to worry about batteries dying or electrical outages. There are also other benefits associated with these radios that might make you change your mind about its usefulness.

1.Hand crank weather radios and their advantages

Hand crank weather radios are generally lightweight, compact, and easily portable. This makes these radios easy to store in an emergency kit or pack with the rest of your camping gear. Some of the features that commonly come with a hand crank radio are also advantages and can include,

  • Access to NOAA weather alerts
  • Built in flashlight
  • USB charger for most mobile devices
  • Solar panels for more charging options

 

2.Hand crank weather radios and their advantagesSince hand crank radios can function without electricity or battery power, you never have to worry about not getting the information you need to stay safe. These radios often come with solar panels, so you can charge it during the daytime for use at night. While the hand crank on the radio is not difficult to turn, you will appreciate being able to get weather and news updates without having to continuously power it manually.

Another advantage to these weather radios is the built in flashlight. It is almost standard on most models, and it is worth paying a little extra for this convenience. The flashlight makes it easier for you to safely move around in the dark and can prevent painful trips and falls when you are trying to navigate around storm debris. USB chargers are also common and convenient features on these manually powered radios, and will help you stay in touch during emergency situations.

The main advantage to owning a hand crank weather radio is continuous access to the NOAA frequencies. These radio bands never go out during power failures, and are a constant source of information during any emergency situation. The National Weather Service uses these bands to rely storm warnings and updates, along with providing any information on any natural or manmade disasters. With over 120 offices constantly monitoring and broadcasting weather conditions, you will always be informed with a hand crank radio.

 

Summary

Even with all of the advances in modern technology, along with the fact that it is almost impossible not to be connected, there are still several advantages associated with owning a hand crank weather radio. Since it relies on manual and often solar power you don’t have to worry about replacing or charging the batteries, and electrical outages are never a problem. Since you aren’t constantly replacing the batteries it is also more affordable, and better for the environment. The small size is perfect for storage when not in use, and as an added benefit many of these weather radios can also pick up your favorite local AM/FM stations.

 

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Having a weather radio during a snow storm

 

Advantages of having a weather radio during a snow storm

 

While kids look forward to snow storms and potential days off from school, adults know that this can also result in hazardous conditions. Blizzards and snow storms can knock down power lines and the frigid temperatures can be dangerous to be out in for extended periods of time. When high winds and heavy snow fall cause the electricity to go out, the only way to stay connected is often with a weather radio.

The weather can change in an instant, especially in some regions of the country. Sudden snow storms can create emergency conditions in seconds, and if you don’t have a weather radio you might not be prepared. Here are a few reasons why you should have a weather radio in a snow storm.

1.Having a weather radio during a snow storm

 

Weather Updates

Unlike traditional boom boxes that are only capable of picking up AM/FM stations, a weather radio is designed to receive broadcasts on higher frequency NOAA bands. These bands are designed to withstand almost any manmade or natural disaster and to continually send broadcasts when other stations are down. Since the high winds that often accompany snow storms won’t affect the broadcasting ability you will be able to stay up to date on the latest weather conditions.

 

Be Prepared

A snow storm can come up suddenly, especially in higher elevations and getting caught unprepared can quickly become life threatening. Dropping temperatures, heavy wet snow and cold winds can all result in hypothermia if you are not prepared. Weather radios are designed to issue audible alerts when storm warnings are announced, so you can have plenty of time to get ready for the wind and snow.

Campers and hikers can take advantage of the warning to find adequate shelter, which is especially important if they are in a remote location. Those at home can take the time to gather warm clothing, blankets and other supplies that they will need to comfortably ride out the winter storm.

 

Stay Connected

Weather radios often come with convenient chargers that are compatible with most mobile devices, so you can stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Heavy snow and ice can often bring down power lines during a storm and it can take several days to have electricity restored, especially if it is in more rural areas. Since weather radios typically run off of battery, solar or manual power, you can keep your cell phone charged even when the electricity is off for days.

 

Light

A convenient feature that many weather radios have is a small built in flashlight. Snow storms generally result in power failures, at least for a short time, and being able to see in the dark is always an advantage. Hikers and campers can use the light to see their way safely around the campsite, and to avoid any fallen storm debris. The flashlight can also keep you safe at home, and the bright beam can even be used to signal rescue or search parties.

 

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