December 22, 2008

Power Outage '08 MVPs

power_outage_mvp.jpgAs we've mentioned, we recently spent six days without power. Two of those days (the middle two) were spent elsewhere but we decided to return to the house to keep the wood stove going and to keep an eye on the pipes, hoping that we wouldn't have to go to any major preventative measures such as draining them or fussing with anti-freeze. During the course of the episode, we realized that there are a few items that came in really handy. And when we say, "really handy," what we mean is, "we couldn't have gotten by without them."

The items that achieved MVP status are as follows:


Striker Magnetic LED
This is the little guy in the image that looks like it should be hanging from a Christmas tree. We were actually going to post a review of it the week of the blackout that essentially said, "pretty cool, it would be better if it was bigger, sort of handy. Whatever." As it turns out though it's a great item in a pinch. The magnets had it sticking to the fridge when it wasn't in use, so we always knew where it was and it's small enough for a pocket and it doesn't take an entire hand to hold it (like our trusty MagLite), so we could carry other things around and still not walk into the walls. Where it really shined though (pun intended) was in the kitchen. Because there are so many magnets on it, you can stick it to something and direct the light where ever you want. We would just slap it on the toaster and be able to make a quick sandwich. The thing only costs about $8 and we would recommend it to anyone. At Amazon.com.

Makita Rechargeable Flourescent Job Light
The Striker was good for lighting up little areas, but when we needed to call on the big guns, we went for the Makita. It's funny, we got this light in a drill kit a few years ago and have hardly ever used it, in fact we forgot about it until day three of the blackout. The bottom line is that it seriously lights up a room and must just barely sip on the battery because the charges seem to last quite a while. It also stands upright, so you can just plop it on a table and turn it on. We're definitely giving this tool more respect in the future. At Amazon.com.

Grundig FR200 Radio
This was our link to the outside world, and because it has AM/FM and Shortwave, we're really talking about the entire world. It also has a little flashlight and comes with a nice little case. It looks like the FR200 is no longer available, but the upgraded FR300 sells for about $50 at Amazon.com.

Jotul Castine Woodstove

We installed this a few years ago and it's become our favorite part of the house. We're big fans of heating with wood. It's not for those who need instant gratification or those who are lazy. All year long, we're sawing and splitting wood in preparation for the heating season. It's a lot of work, but after a long day, it's a great feeling to take off the damp boots, put them next to the stove, sit down in the chair and just stare at the fire.

Marlowe and Grover
Our two four-legged portable lap heaters. Essential for any power outage.

Read More in: Radios | Safety | Work Lights

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at December 22, 2008 4:28 AM

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