Last year’s Tropical Storm Irene and Snowtober events, and most recently Hurricane Sandy, have demonstrated that experiencing power outages that last quite some time is becoming part of our lives.
“With this need in mind, we have put together an emergency kit and an emergency radio for order,” said Jack Kaufman, Philanthropic Youth Council member. “The PYC will be organizing, assembling and distributing emergency kits for Ridgefield residents after receiving input and support from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
The PYC is comprised of 23 high school-aged residents whom raise funds and distribute grants to needy Ridgefield organizations every May. Since its inception, it has raised and granted more than $130,000 and has received the Youth Philanthropy of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Funds raised from selling the radio and the kits will be used for the community grants.
Ridgefield Fire Chief and Emergency Response Director Heather Burford has endorsed the PYC initiative.
“While we’d like to think that residents will not be faced with another incident of being without power for extended durations,” Chief Burford said, “we have learned that it is imperative to be prepared.”
“There may be an event when cell towers and cable lines are down at the same time and residents won’t be able to receive important notifications without a crank-solar radio”, said Deputy Director of Emergency Preparedness and CERT Coordinator Dick Aarons who also endorses the initiative, “Of course we hope that will not happen, but it could and every one of us should be ready for it.”
PYC is selling a radio that, along with receiving on AM/FM, shortwave, and weather bands, has the solar/hand-crank power. It features three lights — an LED flashlight, a 5-LED reading lamp, and a flashing SOS emergency light.
The unit also functions as a charging station for cell phones and MP3 players using a USB charge-out jack.
The radio has four power sources: a built-in hand-crank charging system, adjustable solar panel that collects energy from the sun or natural light, two ‘AA’ batteries, or an AC adapter (not included).
Thirty seconds of cranking yields about about 15 minutes of radio play.
Included are six cell phone tips to charge most popular models There is a built-in speaker and headphone jack including headphones.
The radio costs $59.99.
The PYC researched all the available kits and will be fulfilling orders for basic emergency kits based on the recommendations of Ridgefield’s Emergency Preparedness Team for use in a storm situation.
“Hand-crank radios are strongly suggested as batteries can be used quickly and supplies short,” ” said PYC President Remi McClain. “The PYC investigated to find the best-reviewed hand-crank radio. Some versions fall apart easily, are unreliable and will not charge the smartphones. This one does! The kits meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and U.S. department of health and human services standards.
The emergency kit, which sells for $54.99, includes the following items:
- 1 safety whistle
- 5 N-95 Particulate Respirator Masks
- 10 pairs of hand warmers
- 30 water purification tablets
- 50 moist towelettes
- 1 multi-purpose tool
- 1 set of local maps
- A 100-piece first-aid kit
- 1 Carry case for the supplies listed above
More information and order forms may be found at www.ridgefieldpyc.org. (PayPal is accepted.)