Believe it or not, but a smartphone can be an extremely useful tool during an emergency situation or event. If you have access to either WiFi or a cell signal, you can call or text for assistance, check weather or news reports or use the GPS to help you and your family evacuate to a safer location. So, when you’re preparing your emergency kit for your home, make sure to pack away a cell charger as well.
However, what if your home loses power during an emergency event? Or what if you can’t use a backup power supply like battery pack to charge your phone? Well, some cellphone chargers are actually solar powered, but if you don’t have access to one, don’t stress—you can actually make your own solar-powered cell charger at home. This Instructables guide offers step-by-step instructions concerning the basics on how to build a solar charger, but here’s some info about the materials you’ll need to get started. You’ll need a small solar panel (12 volts), a USB power bank, a four-port USB hub, a 7805 regulator chip, a micro-USB cable with an end that you’ve stripped yourself, some stranded wire and a bit of superglue. We also suggest picking up a multi-tool, as well.
Lastly, remember that your solar-powered charger should be just one component of a far larger, and more complex, emergency kit. While it’s impossible to determine when certain environmental disasters or events might occur, it’s always a good idea to prepare in advance. For instance, the CDC recommends that you should stockpile at least three days of food and water for each individual in your household—dehydrated food is an excellent choice, as it can last for years when stored properly. You should also pack away some other basic supplies in your kit too, like clothing, sleeping bags, camping cookware, medical supplies, toiletries, batteries, flashlights and an emergency radio. With a properly supplied emergency kit—coupled with your brand new solar-powered charger—you should be ready to take on nearly any natural event or disaster that comes your way.