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.