Robin asked: “I just went through a 2 day power outage and it got me to wonder, is there anything I can get to recharge my laptop?”
Yes there is, Robin. If you’ve ever seen an external battery for a phone, it’s basically the same thing, but bigger, heavier, and more expensive.
We can’t tell you how big of a battery you’d need, different laptops use different amounts of power, the same amount of power that might keep an ultra portable laptop running for the better part of a day may only keep a gaming laptop for an hour.
Depending on your expectations, you may be able to spend a couple of hundred and keep an efficient laptop running for a couple more hours, or many hundreds and keep it running for maybe a day.
Two days will not come cheap, in fact it will be expensive enough that for someone in a storm-prone area like you it may literally be less expensive to buy a small gas-powered generator if you happen to have a more power-hungry computer.
A 300Wh battery can cost you over $500, even a smaller 100Wh battery will probably cost you over $200.
Now, if your computer is not that power hungry, you may be able to make due with an even smaller battery. These days there are plenty of laptops that run on a 40-45 Wh battery and can pull a good 12 hours out of it. That means that if it’s fully charged by the time the power goes out, you may be able to squeeze two energy-efficient, low-power useage days out of the laptop and a 50Wh battery, and you can get those for around $150.
You can also look into solar kits, Gobi and Eton make them, and you can buy off-brand ones as well, but they will take a very, very long time to charge and they will still be in the hundreds.
Also keep in mind that a fully charged laptop won’t pull internet out of thin air, so you’re looking at being able to access your local documents, but don’t expect more than that unless you’re willing to power at least a modem too.