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The Best Hand Tools for Disaster Recovery

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When trees are down and power is out, the most useful gadgets are the ones that never need a charge. The situation calls for shovels, rakes, knives-and a few rolls of duct tape don't hurt either.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Popular Mechanics posted a list of the 14 hand tools you need during disaster recovery. Here are a few highlights:

  • Long-socket shovels to remove debris
  • Bypass loppers to clear brush
  • A bow saw or pruning saw to cut fallen branches
  • Axes and hatchets to clean up messy limbs
  • A bow rake to collect debris
  • A heavy-duty wheelbarrow to haul away garbage
  • Plastic tarps to transport materials or keep things dry
  • Duct tape to help secure that plastic sheeting
  • Utility knives to slice damaged drywall
  • Safety glasses to shield yourself from flying debris
  • A first-aid kit for any type of small injury

A few things we'd add to PM's already thorough list-rope and twine; contractor bags; and framing hammers or sledgehammers.


There's a lot you can accomplish without power. As long as you're prepared with the right gear, you can take care of yourself and be a big help to your neighbors.

[Popular Mechanics]