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Home Front

By JUDY STARK, Times Homes Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 1, 2002
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Photo: Target]

Whatever the weather, you still can watch TV.


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Umbra’s cool Ante cards.


The mother of all hurricane lamps

Welcome to another hurricane season, which starts today. Here's an item to consider adding to your hurricane kit: the Coleman TV lantern. It combines a black-and-white TV with 51/2-inch screen, AM-FM instant weather receiver, two adjustable lights, rotary fluorescent lamp, siren, earphone jack, and lighter adapter. It stands 15 by 11 by 19 inches and is $79.99 at Target.

Time to get prepared

This is the time of year when we start stockpiling canned goods, water and other items to have handy in case of a severe storm. How long does bottled water last, you ask? Consumer Reports investigated that very question and concluded: virtually forever. There might be a slight degradation in taste, but nothing serious, so last year's should be fine. We'll add our annual short list of safe room supplies: instant flat-tire sealer (streets will be full of broken glass, downed branches and other sharp objects once the storm passes through), several changes of dry socks and shoes for everyone (don't go barefoot after the storm; the glass and sharp objects that puncture your tires will do the same to you); spray paint to put your street address on your house, since signs may be blown down. After Hurricane Andrew slammed Dade County 10 years ago, some devastated homeowners painted the insurance carrier's name on their houses so roving adjustors would know where to stop.

In super shape

You could while away the hours in your hurricane safe room with these, or take them to the beach or give them as stocking stuffers or party favors or hostess gifts. The Ante playing cards, from Umbra (the same team that brought us the Garbo wastebasket and the Oh! chair), come in an oval translucent plastic case, 6 inches long, in fuchsia, green, amber, blue and translucent white. No smirking, moustachioed one-eyed Jacks here; the cards themselves are designed with stripped-down minimalist graphics. And they're five bucks at Bed, Bath & Beyond; Being; Linens 'n Things; and Southern Accents and Accessories.

-- Compiled by Homes editor JUDY STARK

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