Hurricane Gear List for Media
This list is primarily for news crews with an equipment budget set by their NDs or Chief Photographers trying to file footage, send emails, and check Twitter during hurricanes, although I guess if you work for a rescue organization that has enough money, you can do this as well.
Hi, my name is Marcus DiPaola, I’m a freelance field producer. I just finished covering my ninth hurricane, and I’m slowly developing a list of equipment that I carry with me. If you want to add to this list, email email@example.com and I’ll try out your suggestion next hurricane and report back.
Last updated 7/16/2019 after Hurricane Barry.
1. DRRI 5V D-Tap P-Tap to USB Converter for Anton/Sony V-Mount Camera Battery
This is a great thing to have for yourself and your reporter. No more going out to the car in the rain to charge your cell phone off the inverter. You can finally use Anton Bauer or V-Mount batteries to power your cell phone when the power goes out. It costs $13 and will save you from a world of pain.
2. Peplink SUS-SOHO-T Pepwave Surf Soho MK3 Router
My biggest frustration during Hurricane Barry was that I couldn’t get a good data signal, despite several people having hotspots. I always had five bars, but only had a couple dBs of data signal. This is the device that will save your life.
Plug your Verizon Jetpack into the USB port, and plug three of the below antennas into the thing, separating each antenna by three feet to avoid interference. I use three light stands along with the cheapest gaff tape on Amazon to accomplish this. This device can also add bandwidth to a LiveU by plugging it in via ethernet or connecting it via wifi and is SUPER useful for reducing a liveshot delay or improving shot quality.
3. Proxicast 10 dBi 3G / 4G / LTE High Gain Omni-Directional Fixed Mount Outdoor Fiberglass Antenna
It’s an antenna for the hotspot I just mentioned. You need three. They cost $130 each. You also need three of this cable.
4. KOMEX Chest Waders
This is my favorite pair of waders on Amazon. It’s also usually the cheapest, depending on what’s on sale. You can also find them at physical Walmart or Dick’s Sporting Goods.
5. Verizon Jetpack (if you don’t already have one)
This is the jetpack that I’ve found to get the highest number of decibels of signal. Remember that the number of bars you have on your phone does not correspond to the amount of data you’re getting.
6. PVC Rain Jacket and pants
You want waterproof, not water-resistant clothing. Water-resistant is not waterproof. To that end, this is the best rain jacket I’ve found. It’s breathable-ish. Every other jacket I’ve worn has soaked through after 2+ hours in hurricane-force winds + rain. If you try to get something very breathable, you’re going to get soaked through.
7. This headlamp
This headlamp puts out a ton of light, and that’s what you’re going to need if you’re outside with USAR at night, or even navigating through your darkened hotel hallways.
8. One or more 5-gallon gas cans
Fill this up before the hurricane starts, trust me. It’s near-impossible to get gas when the power is out. Buy black trash bags to wrap them in so that it doesn’t stink up the car or sat truck.
9. ROCKPALS 300W Portable Generator Lithium Portable Power Station, 280Wh
You’re most likely not going to want to be in your car once you’re done with your shift, so get this for your hotel room. If you’re in a hotel room that has an in-room AC unit, you can power your air conditioning at night with this. You can also power your laptop and phone with it.
10. A necklace fan
This will allow you to sleep when the power goes out in your hotel and you’re miserable.
11. Car inverter
I’m assuming everyone has one of these already, but I’m putting this here just in case someone doesn’t. This is the one I use, it plugs into the cigarette lighter of your car.