High school friends, “a couple Jewish boys from Davie” are in the business of selling survival.
Bruce Saver, born in Jacksonville in 1958, remembers the summer of 2004 when four hurricanes visited Florida. He, and buddy Steve Sherman, took note of the storms’ nasty aftermaths — the downed limbs, power outages, gas lines — and realized they could do something.
“Steven has his doctorate in computer education; me, I’m flying commercial and corporate planes and had connections to companies,” so Hurricane Store, an online disaster preparedness business, was born two years later.
The store ships survival gear around the country from its Atlanta warehouse, everything from freeze-dried food that will last on shelves for 25 years to shortwave, NOAA-enabled radios, glow sticks, to bladders that can store 55 gallons of water.
The latter does well in the mountains of Hawaii, Saver said. “We sold a dozen of these to the Hawaii Police Department. They fill it with 55 gallons of water and drive to the mountains where the older people live, roll it out onto the ground, and say, ‘there’s your water for five days. We’ll come back after the storm and check on you.’ ”
The message: Be prepared.
Here are some of the most popular gizmos and gadgets available on www.hurricanestore.com, a Top 10 if you will, that can help keep you high and dry when Mother Nature decides to pitch a fit.
1. Kaito Voyager AM/FM/SW NOAA Radio
“Our top sellers over the last year, the biggest things, are radios, kits and foods, especially the Voyager,” Saver said.
The Kaito Voyager emergency and survival radio pulls in seven bands of radio, including short wave and NOAA weather radio. The adjustable crank dynamo and solar panels charge the battery for unlimited power. Lighting options include an LED flashlight, five-LED reading light, and blinking red emergency light. The built-in USB adapter can be used to charge small electronics, including MP3 players and cellphones. NOAA Weather Alert signals broadcast weather emergencies in the area.
The Voyager is available in camouflage, red, green, yellow, black and blue for $49.99.
2. The Saver72™ One-Person 72-Hour Kit
Don’t have time to collect all the things you should? This kit includes LED flashlights, power supplies for the flashlight and radio, 12-hour light sticks, leather work gloves, ponchos, food and water packets, water purification tablets and waterproof matches, multiuse pocket tools, Purell, biohazard bag for waste disposal and, yes, a toilet paper roll.
“The Saver72 is the hottest because it gives people the option of getting a lot of things in there you don’t think you’ll need until you need them. For example, there’s a nice pair of working gloves in there. After a storm there’s debris everywhere. The last thing you want to do is damage your hands,” Saver said.
The Saver72 is $69.99.
3. Mountain House 72-Hour Emergency Meal Kit
Freeze-dried food options abound. The Mountain House’s packaged, freeze-dried meals will provide sustenance for a single person for three days. They include six entrees, three vegetables and three breakfast meals. Have chicken teriyaki one night, chili mac and beef the next. Scrambled eggs and bacon might be a treat by the third day. Vegan options are available. Add water, use portable heaters, serve and eat.