Imagine this scenario: you're a first responder dispatched to the scene of a natural disaster. The area is without power, and the only source of light is coming from your flashlight.
You want to see what you're doing, but you also need to conserve your battery power in case you need it later. What do you do?
If you're lucky, you have a portable solar generator with you. Portable solar generators are becoming increasingly popular for emergency first responders due to several different reasons. Here is how portable solar generators can help during an emergency.
The Dark Side of Power Outages
We've all been there before. You're in the middle of cooking dinner when suddenly, the power goes out. No big deal, right? Wrong. For emergency first responders, a power outage in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death.
When power lines are downed or electrical grids overloaded, first responders are often left in the dark — literally. Without power, lights and sirens won't work, and communication systems will go down. This not only puts first responders at risk but also the civilians they are sworn to protect.
In 2017, nearly 50 million people in the United States lost power due to extreme weather conditions. That same year, Hurricane Irma left 6.7 million Florida residents without electricity — some for weeks on end. While hurricanes receive a lot of attention, there are other extreme weather events that can cause widespread power outages. Tornadoes, blizzards, and even heatwaves can lead to downed power lines and overloaded grids.
In addition to extreme weather conditions, man-made disasters, such as fires, negligently caused power surges, and malicious cyberattacks can also result in the loss of power. Take the 2015 Donora smog disaster. A massive power outage led to a thick layer of smog descending upon the small borough of Donora, Pennsylvania. The smog was so bad that it caused 26 deaths and sickened thousands of people before eventually dissipating five days later.
The problem is only getting worse as our world becomes more reliant on electricity. A study by Lloyd's of London found that an extended power outage in the United States could cost up to $1 trillion and take up to 10 years to fully recover from.
As climate change continues to wreak havoc across the globe and cyberattacks become more sophisticated, we must find ways to better prepare ourselves for extended periods without power.
The Dangers of Power Outages in Emergency Situations
In an emergency situation, time is of the essence. Every second counts. That's why power outages can be so dangerous for emergency first responders. When the power goes out, responders can lose crucial communication with dispatch, the ability to see what's going on inside the building, and, worst of all, the life-saving equipment that they rely on.
Here are some of the dangers that power outages pose to emergency responders:
Loss of Communication
One of the biggest dangers of a power outage is the loss of communication. Emergency responders can lose crucial communication with dispatch, which can delay response times and put lives at risk.
Portable solar generators during an emergency situation can serve as a life-saving backup power source for first responders. If an emergency dispatch center loses power, your portable solar generator can provide the much-needed power to keep the lines of communication open.
Portable solar generators are a clean and renewable energy source that can be used in any weather conditions. They are also quiet and emit no fumes, making them ideal for use in urban areas where space is limited. Every second counts in an emergency situation, and a portable solar generator can help first responders save lives.
Loss of Lighting
Another danger of a power outage is the loss of lighting. When responding to an emergency, lighting is essential for seeing what's going on inside the building. Portable solar generators are convenient and easy to use in such situations.
Portable solar generators can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the most popular uses for portable solar generators include lighting, charging phones and laptops, and powering small appliances.
Loss of Life-Saving Equipment
During a power outage, many devices and pieces of equipment we rely on every day become useless. Cell phones die, ATMs are inaccessible, and traffic lights go dark. While these inconveniences can be frustrating, they pale in comparison to the loss of life-saving equipment. For patients who rely on machines to regulate their heart rate or breathing, a power outage could be fatal. Even something as simple as a wheelchair elevator requires electricity to function.
Portable solar generators can provide a much-needed backup power source for this life-saving equipment. By keeping batteries charged and devices powered, solar generators can help during an emergency.
People Can Get Injured
One of the dangers of power outages is that people can get injured when they are using candles or other sources of light. Candles can start fires if they are not used properly, and people can be burned if they come into contact with an open flame. Additionally, people can trip and fall in the dark, which can lead to serious injuries.
As solar generators are powered by the sun, there is no risk of fire or injury. Also, as they are extremely portable, so they can be easily moved to wherever light is needed. As a result, solar generators can be a vital tool for safety during a power outage.
Fires Can Start
One of the dangers of a power outage is that it can lead to fires. Candles and other forms of emergency lighting are often used during power outages, but they can also be a fire risk. Candles can easily tip over and start a fire, and people can also accidentally knock over lamps or other objects that are providing light.
If a fire starts, it can quickly spread and cause significant damage to property and potentially injure or kill people. Portable solar generators can provide a safe and reliable source of light during a power outage, eliminating the risk of fire.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Occur
When generators are used indoors, the carbon monoxide they produce can build up to dangerous levels and cause serious health problems or even death. This is a particular danger during power outages, when people may be using generators or other fuel-powered devices indoors.
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to use generators only outdoors and to make sure that they are properly ventilated. Additionally, portable solar generators can be a safe and clean alternative to traditional gas-powered generators.
Food Can Spoil
Another danger of power outages is that food can spoil if it is not stored properly. Refrigerated food will only stay fresh for a certain amount of time without power, and food that is not refrigerated will quickly spoil in warm temperatures. If food spoils, it can cause illness if it is consumed.
People Can Be Isolated
Another danger of power outages is that people can become isolated from the outside world. Power outages often occur during severe weather conditions, which can make it difficult or even impossible for people to leave their homes. This isolation can be especially dangerous for the elderly or disabled people who may need assistance from others.
Crime Can Increase
Another danger of power outages is that crime rates often increase during these times. With darkness comes opportunities for criminals to break into homes or businesses or to commit other crimes, such as vandalism or looting.
Important Considerations When Choosing Portable Solar Generators For Emergency Situations
Size and Weight
One of the biggest considerations when choosing a portable solar generator is its size and weight. After all, you need to be able to transport your generator to the site of the power outage. One person can easily carry many small solar generators, but larger units may require two or more people to lift and move.
The good news is that there are now many lightweight and compact solar generators on the market that offer plenty of power in a small package. For example, the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station weighs just under 20 pounds and can charge phones, tablets, laptops, lights, and other small electronics. It's also quiet and safe to use indoors.
Another important consideration is power output. You'll need to make sure that your chosen generator can provide enough power to run the equipment you need during an outage. Keep in mind that some appliances require more power than others; for example, medical equipment or large pumps may require a higher-wattage solar generator than smaller devices like phones or lights.
Runtime is another important factor to consider when choosing a portable solar generator. This refers to the amount of time your generator can run before it needs to be recharged—either by the sun or by plugging into a wall outlet. Short outages may only require a few hours of runtime, but longer outages will necessitate a generator with a longer runtime.
How Portable Solar Generators Can Help During Power Outages During Emergency Situations
Portable solar generators during power outages can provide much-needed light in an emergency situation. When the power is out and there is no other source of light available, a solar generator can help first responders see what they're doing and make sure that they're providing aid safely.
Solar generators can also be used to power handheld devices like flashlights or phone chargers so that first responders can stay connected even when the power is out.
In an emergency situation, it's significant to stay cool and hydrated. If the power is out and there is no air conditioning available, things can quickly become unbearable, especially in the summer months. Portable solar generators can be used to power fans or small air conditioners, helping first responders stay cool and comfortable even in high temperatures.
Portable solar generators are also a great way to keep food and medicine cool in an emergency situation. By powering a small refrigerator or cooling unit, first responders can make sure that perishable items stay fresh and that medication remains effective.
In an emergency situation, time is of the essence. That's why it's so imperative for first responders to have access to reliable power sources. Portable solar generators can be used to power a variety of equipment, including computers, tools, communications devices, and more. Having a portable solar generator on hand ensures that first responders have the power they need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Shop For Portable Solar Generators
Portable solar generators can prove to be vital in emergency situations. When the grid goes down or there is an unexpected natural disaster, having a portable solar generator can be the difference. If you’re interested in purchasing a portable solar generator for your home or office, contact us today. We offer competitive prices on top-quality products, and we would be happy to help you choose the perfect generator for your needs.