I bet a lot of people would like to have an electrical back up system but can’t afford to install solar panels on their home or buy the solar combo set ups like Goal Zero and Jackery. You can put together a similar if smaller setup that costs a lot less that will give you a renewable source of electrical energy for power outages.
Battery Storage: You can go with a “Jump Starter” that you can buy for $50.00-$100.00 or even those small battery power sticks/packs $5.00-$20.00 that stores sell for extending the battery power of cell phones and other electronic gadgets. These battery power packs can be charged up via an electrical outlet so you don’t have to buy a solar panel right now in order to charge the battery packs. You can charge up or top off these battery packs ahead anytime you get a Storm Warning. You will have some power for charging phones, tablets, laptops or any small gadget that has a USB power cable. I have several of these power packs of different sizes that I have used to charge phones and my kindle. Heck I have even used them to jump start my 6cyl. Kia Mini-van!
Solar Panels: I have a folding 15 watt solar panel I bought a couple of years ago for around $60.00. Now you can buy that same size of panel for under $40.00 or buy a 25-50 watt folding solar panel for the price I paid for mine. I did a test of charging up my 18000mAh battery with the solar panel and I was amazed by how quickly the panel charged up the half empty battery bank to Fully charged in less than 2 hours with the panel just sitting in a south facing window on a sunny day. Of course if it is overcast it would take longer to charge up the battery. You can see that you could spend less than a $100.00 and have a renewable small portable power station that you have complete control over.
Lights: I have two Lithium battery powered LED florescent lights that I bought at Home Depot for $20.00 each. These lights put out a lot of light and are charged up via a USB cable and you can get about 10-12 hours of light before you need to recharge. You can cook, clean, read a book or even put on makeup using these lights. The lamps have magnets so you can hang the light under a cabinet or slap it on a metal surface like a fridge to move the light to where you need to do work. I also test a couple of different inflatable solar powered Camp lanterns and got 6 to 12 hours of light from each lantern. These Camp lanterns would be great for kids or around pets as they are safe and non-breakable! The inflatable camp lantern cost around $10.00-$15.00 and are in most camping stores.
You may have long shipping times now if you are trying to get some of these right now because a lot of other people are buying folding solar panels. You might check your local Auto parts or RV stores for the Jump Starter battery packs but almost every electronic store section has the smaller cell phone charger battery packs. Heck, my local Fred Meyer sells those packs by the candy bars next to check out stands. I recommend that you charge any items on the battery pack rather than directly from the solar panels because electronic devices prefer stable electrical current and most solar panels don’t always supply a stable current load.
All of these items will be useful even if you decide to get a permanent backup power solution for your home because all of the items are portable. You can use these items camping, tailgate parties or picnics. I think you will find having even a little bit of electrical power on hand can make all the difference in the world to your comfort level and morale.