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.
The Mountain House Meal Kit is $49.99.
4. Hurricane Safety Light
Crank operation means you never run out of batteries. A 50,000-hour LED bulb means you’ll never go dark unless that’s one long storm. The light floats and is waterproof to 30 feet. It can be used as a flashing emergency light, too.
“This was a surprise seller for us, but it’s so common sense,” Saver said. “If you grab something on the night stand and the battery is corroded, here you crank it and turn it on and the room is very bright, which is nice.”
The Hurricane Safety Light is $12.99.
5. SaverKits™ MedSaver™ Emergency Medical Kit
Saver was an EMT in the late 1970s so medical kits are near and dear. These include a stethoscope, hemostatic gauze, bandage scissors, burn dressing, resuscitation masks and splints, housed in a nylon case. t There’s room for your personal medications. The kit also adds The American College of Emergency Physicians First Aid Manual with instructions and photos.
The MedSaver Emergency Medical Kit is $119.99.
6. WaterSafe Heavy-Duty - 55 Gallon Stand-Alone Model
Fill the bladder with up to 55 gallons of potable water. Attach the screw-on pump to dispense for drinking, bathing, flushing. Store on a shelf or sock away in a tub or shower while you ride out the storm. Note: water weighs about eight pounds per gallon so a filled 55-gallon bladder will weigh 440 pounds.
The WaterSafe bladder is $39.99.
7. Cyalume® 6-inch Green 12-hour Light Stick 10-pack
Light sticks can be handy post-storm since they can generate as much light as a candle, without the danger of fire. Wind also doesn’t snuff out the light, which lasts about 12 hours. Cyalume Light Stick packs are $16.99.
8. Eton® Raptor
This solar charger will let you keep your cellphones juiced, which can mean more time on Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know you’re OK. The device is also a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, chronograph, AM/FM radio with NOAA weather alerts, digital clock and alarm, and, why not, a bottle opener.
The Raptor solar charger is $114.99.
9. Coleman® Colossus™ 2-Person Boat With Oars
Noah had his ark. You can have your Colossus.
The Coleman Colossus Inflatable Boat with Oars allows two people (or three in a larger version) to get through flooded waters and streets. Constructed of 15-gauge PVC, this inflatable is 82 inches by 40 inches.The Colossus is $49.99 for its two-person model, $69.99 for three.
10. P.O.G.O. Pry-Off, Gas-Off Bar
House go rockin’?
You might have to shut the gas line if it’s damaged. Use the notches to shut off most gas lines. The 15-inch tool also works as a prying device to deal with debris and jammed doors and could come in handy on search and rescue missions.
The P.O.G.O. Bar is $7.99.
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