Each year, it seems that all of the medias throw the same few "emergency preparedness" lists at you. I'm not going to do that. While those cookie-cutter lists are time-tested and proven invaluable in an emergency, I won't patronize you with canned goods and extra blankets. While those do come in handy, it's a new century full of new and better technologies, we should be prepping like it.

Odds are, you've already got the bare necessities in your home ready for the moment Mother Nature throws her fury down on Southwest Oklahoma, but there are a few things most people have either forgotten about or just didn't think of it in the first place. Obviously, the radio person inside me wants to remind you about having a battery or hand cranked radio somewhere in the house for a weather emergency. That's drilled into my core, and in the hours and days after an emergency, a radio is invaluable... but even I can admit there is a better tool.

In the moment of battle between man and weather, every person has this tool in their pocket, but it's generally sort of fussy in the way it works when everyone is trying to use them... The modern day smart phone. It is possibly the greatest tool humankind has ever invented, but it still has its limitations. Sure, when everyone hops on the networks at the same time, they slow down to the point they just stop working... but the real Achilles heel of the best tool we've ever created is, it runs on a battery. You may have a battery backup charger handy, but how much power can you really get out of a cheaply built power bank?

Luckily, an old technology has finally caught up with the current decade in the form of the old fashioned hand cranked radio/flashlight, but with a built-in USB charger for your personal devices. Unlimited power and communication literally in your hands. That way, if the network is letting you access the world outside your home in a moment of having no power, you'll be able to stay informed until your arm gets tired.

It's always better to stay informed in real time with what Mother Nature is doing when it gets loud outside, might as well add this to your list of necessary items to never be caught without during storm season. It very well could save your life.