Eco Preparations for the Hurricane Season

In the preparations for hurricane season, battery operated appliances can be a vital part of surviving if electricity lines go down.

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Disaster preparations offices all over the region advise us to stock up on spare batteries to operate radios and flashlights so that we can hear the news and find our way around in the dark.


Electrical power lines

Electricity is Turned Off in a Hurricane

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Whilst this is all well and good in the short term, batteries come with a whole set of other ecological and health problems that we may want to avoid. Most batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel that leach into our soil and water. If incinerated the metals within the batteries can be released into the air and concentrate in vĂ­ce zde the ash. The effects of these heavy metals on human and environmental health are well documented and diverse. They include damage to the brain and central nervous system, organ dysfunction and cancers in humans; and devastation of aquatic and forest ecosystems.

Many larger nations offer recycling schemes to dispose of batteries but in small Caribbean islands the only option is often the landfill so as much as we can steer clear of batteries the better!

Thankfully a whole wave of smarter eco-technology is paving the way for us to be battery free and still have our necessary items for hurricane preparations. The wind-up radio, first invented in 1993 by Trevor Baylis to help disseminate health information rural communities in Africa can assist us in getting all the news we need during storm time. Other wind-up items include wind-up flashlights and an eco version of the i-pod, which allows you to store 500 songs in mp3 format and get 40 minutes of playtime with a minute of winding. It can also charge your cell phone! These items may cost a little more at the outset but can make considerable savings in long term and are much better for us.

Of course these technologies can be used well beyond an emergency situation. My most coveted household eco-appliance is a hand powered blender!

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