Emergency Solar Power: A Guide to Being Prepared

At Voltaic we know the importance of having access to a reliable power source. When disasters strike, one of the first things to go is the electrical power grid. This lack of power not only makes it difficult to receive important alerts but it makes it difficult to stay connected to with friends and family. Choosing a solar charger as an emergency backup system is a simple way to make sure that you are always prepared.

In this Emergency Solar Power Guide, we’ll go over how to choose the right emergency power system for your needs as well as best practices for keeping gear charged.

Choosing The Right Emergency Solar Charger

To make sure that you’re truly prepared, you need to make make sure that you choose the best emergency solar charger for your needs. The three main things to consider when purchasing a solar charger for emergency backup are:

  1. What devices do you want to keep charged?
  2. What kind of emergencies are you preparing for?
  3. In the event of an emergency, would you have access to good sunlight during and/or after the event?

What devices do you want to keep charged?

When choosing an emergency solar charger it’s important to think about the essential devices that you would like to keep charged. For most emergencies, it’s important to have enough power to charge a cell phone and a small USB light. This allows you to stay connected while providing extra lighting if needed.

If you’re looking for this essential setup, we recommend one of the following solar chargers:

Amp Solar Charger: Minimal, compact solar charger for smartphones and small USB lights. Includes a 4,000mAh battery pack for power storage. Zippered carrying case makes it easy for travel if needed.

Arc 10 Watt KitFoldable, high performance solar charger with built-in USB port for smartphones and USB devices. Includes a 4,000mAh battery pack. Optional 12,000mAh battery upgrade is available for more power storage.

9 Watt KitSuper durable, rigid solar charger kit for smartphones, tablets, and USB lights. Includes a 12,000mAh battery pack with two USB ports for charging mulitple USB devices at once. Panel is 100% waterproof and may be left outside 24/7 (batteries are not waterproof).

For those who want more power storage or need to keep a laptop charged, we recommend one of our solar laptop chargers. The 17 Watt Solar Charger Kit and Arc 20 Watt Solar Laptop Charger both offer high performance solar power with a Voltaic laptop battery pack. The larger power bank will charge a laptop 1X or a smartphone 7X.

What kind of emergencies are you preparing for?

The type of emergency that you’re preparing for can also help you decide which solar charger you need. If you live in a known storm path and have experienced significant power outages in the past, then opting for a larger system is recommended. Something like our 9 Watt Kit or 17 Watt Kit will allow you to charge a phone mulitple times should the power grid stay off for an extended period of time. On the other hand if you are looking for occasional backup or something to keep in your car, a smaller system like our Amp Solar Charger or Arc 10W Kit is a good option.

In the event of an emergency, would you have access to good sunlight during and/or after the event?

Depending on the type of emergency and where you live, you may not have great access to sunlight when you need it.  When purchasing a solar charger, think about where you would recharge the battery in case of emergency. Remember: solar chargers will not work indoors and require direct sunlight to charge.

In the event of a hurricane, for example, the weather can be extremely unpredictable after the storm passes. If you’re preparing for one of these types of emergencies, we recommend choosing a solar charger that is slightly above your power needs to compensate. Likewise, if you live in a home or apartment that does not have easy access to direct sunlight, choosing a solar charger slightly above your power needs is recommended.

Regardless of which of the system you choose, we always recommend purchasing a system that includes an external battery pack to make sure you always have power stored.  For additional storage, extra battery packs are available for purchase.

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Be Prepared, Always

Now that you have an emergency solar power solution picked out, it’s important to learn some best practices. Here are our top tips for making sure that you are ready if power goes out.

Keep Emergency Power Handy: One of the most dangerous realities of emergencies is that they can happen at any moment. Make sure that your Voltaic solar charger and battery pack are in an accessible location in your home so that you won’t have to search for it should an emergency arise.

Charge Batteries Frequently: As a general rule, make sure that your Voltaic battery packs are fully charged when stored. Since batteries can lose some power naturally when not in use, we recommend checking batteries every 6 months to make sure that they are full.  In preparation of an emergency, take out and fully charge all batteries (from the solar charger or from the wall).

Conserve Battery Power: During an emergency it is important to conserve battery power in your devices. For smartphones, this means turning on the power save mode and turning off unnecessary applications such as WiFi and Bluetooth. We recommend leaving your location services on in case emergency services need to locate you and for updates/alerts.

Check-in Regularly: Schedule regular check-ins with loved ones as a simple way to make sure that everyone is safe while conserving power in your devices.

emergency solar power, emergency solar power, emergency phone charger

Voltaic COO Jeff Crystal helps a resident charge her phone after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (Rockaway, Queens).

Thank you for reading our Emergency Solar Power Guide, if you have questions about choosing a system or how to best prepare your home please contact us at info@voltaicsystems.comFor more information about emergency preparedness in your area, visit Ready.gov.

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