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More than 8 million people on the East Coast were left without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy—many, stranded by floods, are still without light or heat or a way to contact loved ones. GOAL ZERO, a local solar power company, and transportation company Interide Logistics have teamed up to bring portable solar power technology to first responders in the region.
On Wednesday, GOAL ZERO filled a 53-foot trailer with $300,000 worth of equipment that can be used by first responders to power emergency lights, communications systems and vital medical devices.
Interide Logistics, a third-party logistics company, arranged for transportation to deliver the supplies to the New York/New Jersey area.
“We want to help as many people as we can, as quickly as we can,” said Joe Atkin, president and CEO of GOAL ZERO, in a prepared statement. “Our first plan of attack is to send out what we already have in our warehouse to help areas that are without power. After that, we’ll be calling on the help of everyone in GOAL ZERO Nation. We will match sales from our participating retailers, as well as our online store, and send that out in relief aid.”
From now through Nov. 15, the company will match purchases made online and at participating retailers through its “You Buy One, We Give One” Sandy relief program.
The company is also sending a team to help distribute the equipment, said Lisa Janssen, a spokesperson for GOAL ZERO. The team will be in the region for about a week and will be posting daily photos and videos from the trip on the company’s website, www.goalzero.com.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy highlights the importance of considering power needs when preparing for disasters, Janssen said. GOAL ZERO’s portable power systems can power a range of USB, AC and DC devices. The power generated from a solar panel is stored in a power pack, which can then be used to recharge mobile devices and power computers, lights, appliances, home health equipment and more.
The company also makes a solar-powered generator. Since it is not fueled by gasoline, the generator can be used both indoors and outdoors. “Users can continue to run their refrigerators and contact their loved ones,” Janssen said. “They always have access to power, even if the power is out.”