Portable cell phone battery chargers have saved my bacon more than once while traveling. From overtaxing my iPhone taking vacation pictures to relying on Google Maps to get me where I’m going in a car without an aux port, there are times that low battery warning would trigger a major anxiety attack were I out and about without a power brick capable of refilling my phone’s tank at least once. But I’ve also made a habit of keeping one of them fully charged in a desk drawer at home, and you should too. There’s a lot going on in America right now. It’s summer, a time when higher temps and increased air conditioner use trigger brownouts when energy supply can’t keep up with demand. We’re also three days into what looks to be a record-breaking hurricane season; I probably don’t need to tell you what storms can do to cut off juice to your home. Factor in the remote possibility power will be disrupted in some way by the ongoing nationwide protests over police brutality alongside a host of other more mundane causes (from fallen tree branches to an overzealous contractor) and there are more than enough reasons to keep a charger at the ready even when you aren’t out and about.
Tear gas is a chemical weapon that is banned for use in warfare, yet U.S. police have repeatedly deployed it against people protesting police brutality and anti-black violence this week. Though it’s considered a non-lethal weapon, tear gas is actually far more dangerous than advertised—especially in the midst of a global pandemic.