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Gadgets you'll need to survive the storm

Photo source: MGN

Lights, communication, information: It all takes power. With the right gadgets, you can get that from the sun.

"A lot of what we carry in terms of the gadget world is solar powered," said West Marine manager Roz Clark. She said solar panels are fantastic.

"These two hybrid lights, there's a large one and a small one, are not only flashlights but they actually hold a charge for years so you can charge them at the beginning of the hurricane season, put them in your go bag and they're good to go," she explained.

Most solar products have a dual purpose.

"They also, on the bottom of them, have a USB charging port so you can use it as an extra charge for your cell phone, or your tablet, or whatever other device you might have," Clark said.

You'll find the same charging port on solar-powered speakers.

"So it's got a 12-hour battery, obviously that's 12 hours on doing what it does which is music, but if you're gonna be charging other devices from it that's gonna lower it a little."

A portable backup battery recharges in a wall outlet.

"This will actually charge your phone up to six times. The battery just lasts and lasts and lasts."

If cell towers are knocked out, walkie-talkie style radios can keep you in touch. They come in a pair, they're waterproof, and they have a NOAA weather radio built in.

Over at Best Buy, they're focused on protecting your electronics.

"And not just a huge storm just things like regular lightning storms we see all the time down here."

A power surge can damage or destroy TVs, computers, anything that's plugged in.

Blue shirt Blake Hunt said a battery backup protects against surges and gives you time to shut down safely.

"So what you're looking for is how much watts it can handle. And really depends on the devices that you're hooking up."

Another safety net: save irreplaceable photos and documents to a portable hard drive you can take with you, if you evacuate and before you go, make sure you disconnect your electronics.

"You definitely want to pull all the plugs for your electronics, really basic. Try to move them to the middle of the room, 'cause most of the time the water will drip down the walls, and try to get 'em off the floor if you can," Hunt advised.

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