Monday, May 4, 2015

Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke

Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the thought of being prepared for a natural disaster rarely crossed my mind three years ago. Although we have snowstorms and occasional flooding, we are not in a tornado alley and have only experienced the most minor earthquakes. Natural disasters can sometimes seem more of an inconvenience than a serious threat.

But last week, while I was visiting a local farmer’s market, I noticed dark clouds gathering across distant hills and I was reminded of a weather event that hit the east coast unexpectedly on a beautiful June day in 2012. On that particular afternoon, I was driving through the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia to visit family and friends at a picnic. It was a bright and calm day – I had the windows down and was taking my time along the windy country roads.

I had barely registered the dark clouds lining the horizon when I noticed the wind picking up and felt a faint chill in the air. I rolled up my windows as the first raindrops fell. Suddenly, the sky turned ink black and the wind blew the trees so hard that they bent sideways. Branches snapped; I heard a loud pop and saw a bright flash as a tree fell 10 yards ahead of me across the road, taking down a power line with it.  I pulled into the closest driveway and spent the next five minutes in terror waiting out what I thought was a freak tornado, but was actually the derecho of 2012.

Photo Attribution: "6-29-2012 Derecho" by NWS/Storm Prediction Center - NWS/Storm Prediction Center. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

 After the storm, millions of Virginians were left without power or running water for almost a week. We lost everything in our refrigerator and hundreds of dollars worth of frozen meat and vegetables. Worst of all, the storm came amidst a heat wave and our vegetable gardens withered and died without water. And similar outages happen every year following ice storms, heavy snows, hurricanes, floods and other forces of nature that are difficult to prepare for because we have not experienced them.

So how to avoid losing so much during an emergency?

Gas generators are an option and certainly one that can fulfill your emergency needs. But how about considering a long-lasting, sustainable solution like a solar powered generator? The SUNRNR is an off-grid solar backup that provides electricity from stored energy in a rechargeable battery so you can use it day or night, in sunshine or in rain. It can run your well pump (SUN240) or appliances (SUN110) during power outages. Even better it can be used safely and cleanly beyond emergencies, to power your cabin, outbuilding, or greenhouse without noise, emissions, or gas storage.

Find out more about the SUNRNR and how to be prepared for natural disasters with back-up solar power here:

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