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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting Ready for Hurricane Season and A Solar Garden Light Experiment

We have been in Florida 9 years now. The first year we were here, 2005, was when Hurricane Katrina hit LA. We have not had a big one hit the Gulf Coast area since then. We are probably due. Every year I put together an emergency Hurricane Kit. When we lived up north I always had one for the Winter months. Of course it had much different supplies. In the past I have always used a bin, as shown in the image to the link. This year, I decided to use a large tote bag. Why? Because the bin is a pain to navigate. It would be hard for one person to carry alone, and probably need two at most times. My son is strong enough to carry it, as am I, but I just think the bag would be much easier to move. I will share a picture of the bag, and its contents, when I get it completed. Hurricane season has already started, but it is very rare to get a big storm this early. I have started on putting it together, and it should be done in a few days. The biggest issue is always food. How much food, what kind of food, etc. I have started storing water, so that is not a big deal.

This next part has to do with batteries. Every year my kids take the flashlights and poof they are never to be found again. Every year, I have to buy a ton of batteries, and new flashlights. Kind of expensive and a pain. So, I got thinking. If you read my craft blog, then you know that I have been painting bottles and turning them into solar powered garden lights. I have ten of them now. This has allowed me not to have to use the outside light at night, to ward of weirdos. The motion sensitive light, in the back is still active. I started to wonder, how long do the solar lights stay on at night. I really didn't know since it is always daylight when I get up. So, I read some other websites, and blogs to see if anyone else knew. The results were not good, definitely not all night and only a few hours were the most popular results. Well, me being me, I decided to try it for myself. So, last night at 8 PM I brought in one of the garden lights. I put it in my bathroom, and waited. Eventually I went to bed. I got up once during the night, at 3, and it was still lit and nice and bright. When I got up at 7 in the morning, it was still lit. Hard to tell how bright it was at that time of day. At 10 AM I returned it to the garden, and it was still lit. So, you are probably thinking I spent a lot of money on these lights and that is why I got good results. Nope, I paid .97 cents at Walmart, and 1 dollar at the Dollar Tree. We do get a ton of sunlight in FL, this time of year, so that might be why my results were so good. I have no idea. What I do know is that I will be picking up more of these and putting them in the garden so they are charged and ready to go should we ever lose power for an extended amount of time, or have to evacuate. The only other thing I am unsure of, is do they charge even if you don't pull out the little tab, or only if you pull out the little tab. Will have to figure that out.

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