Breeze Power: K3
compact generator, $100
When it comes to hurricane season, there is no shortage of hot air. We can harness that moving air and generate power. The K3 is a compact wind-and-solar-powered generator. It's about the size of a flashlight and it can recharge your cellphone, iPod, MP3 player, PDA or other electronic device. A little bit of wind, or a few rays of sunshine and you are charged and ready to go. It's available at kinesisindustries.com.
LCD Digital TV, $250-350
If you are like me, you have a portable battery-powered TV among your hurricane supplies. If you purchased it more than a year ago, it is probably garbage. Most of those old TVs picked up only analog broadcast signals. In June all stations must switch to a digital signal, making your old battery-powered TV useless. I had to search for a digital battery-powered TV and I found only two, both from LCDDigital.tv. There is a seven-inch and an 8.4-inch model. Both can be powered with a wall adapter, car cigarette lighter adapter and AA batteries (disposable and rechargable). The company says its 8.4-inch model has a better turner and better reception. Both models come with an auxiliary antenna. The 7-inch unit costs about $250 and the 8.4-inch unit costs about $350. Available online only at lcddigital.tv
Stay Safe: SentrySafe
These days valuables aren't just possessions, they can be information as well. This safe is designed to store both. It's the world's first and only fire- and water-resistant safe with USB-powered connectivity. The safe lets you back up data into its built-in hard drive, which is stored in the interior door. You can connect to the hard drive by plugging your laptop or desktop computer into the safe's USB port. The safe is water-resistance in up to eight inches of water for up to 24 hours and is verified for two-hour fire protection of CDs, DVDs, USB drives and memory sticks up to 1,850 degrees. Available at walmart.com, amazon.com, sentrysafe.com, samsclub.com and homedepot.com.
I Need A Drink: SteriPen
Journey LCD, $100
All of us here in South Florida know about ''boil water advisories.'' When you can't boil the water, we're told to put a few drops of bleach in a gallon of water and wait 45-plus minutes. I've gone the bleach route and then tasted the water. Yuck. I found a safe solution in the SteriPen Journey LCD. This handheld device turns questionable water into safe drinking water. Designed for campers, the SteriPen uses ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy microbes in water and its tapered end fits into most commercial water bottles. It can purify 16 ounces of water in 48 seconds or 32 ounces in 90 seconds. No chemicals, no pumping, no waiting. You just push a button. The LCD screen does the counting for you. The end product tastes a whole lot better than water mixed with bleach. Available at Peter Glenn Ski & Sport stores and at REI.com and Nitro-PAK.com.
Steve Greenberg appears on television around the country demonstrating innovative new products. His book, Gadget Nation: A Journey Through The Eccentric World of Invention (www.gadgetnation.net), tells the stories behind some off-beat inventions.