With a little thought and preparation, you can solve many of your electrical needs safely in the event of an extended power outage. The do-it-yourselfer might want to make their own portable solar power supply, or put a 12 volt motor in a small swamp cooler to solve those electrical needs.
When I give seminars to school age children on solar cooking I usually see a student with a clear bottle of water and I ask them, "did you have to get that water out of a river running behind your house? Did you have to dig a hole in your yard to find that water?" They laugh. Millions around the world have to get their drinking water every day that way.
It is not fun being without air conditioning in the summer. Several years ago we had our house unit go out on the hottest day of the year. It was 126 degrees F in the shade and even hotter in the house. Fish were dying and we were miserable. After searching for two days I finally found a window swamp cooler that got us by until we could get the house air conditioner fixed.
I use my Global Sun Oven to cook anything that I would normally cook in my regular oven. My family loves fresh-ground wheat bread and we regularly cook roasts, cookies, rice, casseroles, baked potatoes, cakes and more. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that sun cooked chicken tastes better than Kenny Rogers' rotisserie chicken (and I love K.R. chicken).
For emergencies there are all sorts of hand crank lights, solar flashlights, and low power LED flashlights. There's even a "shake-up" flashlight that uses a shaking motion of the hand to produce the needed power.
Professional weather sensors form the heart of large solar plants supporting their operation and performance. Lufft was the first manufacturer to combine several sensors in one housing, bringing the largest multiparameter weather sensor family with 19 members into being.
Many of them are well-suited for solar site assessment and continuous monitoring. The most commonly used one is the WS600 delivering data on temperature, air pressure, wind, relative humidity and precipitation. Through its open protocol, it can easily be attached to radiation sensors e.g. from Kipp&Zonen. Other models have an integrated Silicon, Second Class or Secondary Standard radiation sensor.