Jun 7, 2023 - Things to Do

How to set-up a DIY charging station after a hurricane

Illustration of a cube with a glowing power bolt.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

When power outages hit New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Ida in 2021, a grassroots initiative for plugged-in locals to offer mini-charging stations zapped to life. Here’s how you can host your own.

Why it matters: Though more and more Americans are plugging in to generators, they’re not accessible to everyone.

Besides the big costs both upfront and for gas to keep them chugging along, safely using a generator requires backyard space to ensure it stays a safe distance from your home.

  • But access to a charging station can mean the difference between losing track of evacuated family members or requiring medical assistance for an oxygen machine.

Set it up safely: Install your charging station in a well-lit space that’s easy to spot for neighbors.

  • Consider bringing your charging station inside overnight.
  • If the weather looks wet, make sure your station is in a covered area.

Lay some ground rules: Whether you’re using a gas generator or a battery pack, like a Jackery, check your machine’s wattage and state limits clearly on easy-to-read signage.

  • For example, your station may be perfectly set up to charge a few phones, but you may not feel comfortable having someone plug in a laptop to work for a couple hours.

📣 Tell Axios: Have you set up a charging station? What are your best tips? Email us at [email protected] to let us know.

Read more: What's in our hurricane emergency kits


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