Parenting Product Pick: Light Your Way Through a Hurricane

By Kathy Zucker

Who knew an ereader could double as a flashlight?

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite was delivered to my home in Hoboken, New Jersey, one week before Hurricane Sandy struck on the evening of October 29th. During that week, I downloaded some books from the extensive selection of free and low-cost classics at Amazon.com and experimented with the Amazon Prime lending library. At one point, I seamlessly switched user accounts with my husband so he could test drive the Paperwhite – he had similar issues getting used to the touch screen and difficulty finding the menu (tap the top 20% of the screen).

I was in Hoboken last August during Hurricane Irene.  Expecting a catastrophic storm, many of my neighbors evacuated. Leading up to October 29th, the Sandy storm warnings looked remarkably similar to Irene. It was not until 10 a.m. on October 29th that I become concerned about the storm severity. I wrote about subsequent events for Yahoo! News, you can read my account here.

Between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., when I lost power, I feverishly prepared myself and my neighbors. I moved my car to higher ground, setup text message groups in case I lost phone internet access, and filled bathtubs with water. I also fully charged my Paperwhite and downloaded books to read without wifi. During Irene, I lost power for 12 hours. What was the worst that could happen, two or three days without power?

It turned out to be seven days. As the days turned into a week and the batteries drained on all my other electronics despite my best efforts to conserve power, the Paperwhite kept on going. I got access to a charging station on day four – I did not recharge the Paperwhite. And at the end of those seven days without power? The Paperwhite still had 50% battery.

The Paperwhite also made a great nightlight for bedtime with my three young children – the lowest display brightness was enough to keep me from tripping over bags of hurricane supplies in dark rooms.

It looks like hurricanes are going to be an annual fall event in Hoboken – I plan on buying a Paperwhite to light my way through the next storm.

Read Kindle Paperwhite: Battle-Tested by Hurricane Sandy

Watch Kindle Paperwhite: The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel Hangout


I received a sample Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Currently sold for $119, the Paperwhite is backordered at Amazon.com – an order placed today would ship on December 21. The Paperwhite will be given away at the 12/14 Consulting Network luncheon in Hoboken, NJ.

Kathy Zucker, accidental entrepreneur and mother of three young children, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @KathyZucker.


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