One of the most common emergencies all of us have encountered at some point in our lives is a power outage. No big deal if it lasts for an hour or two, but what if your electric is out for days or longer? How will you light your life?
You want to make sure you have non-electric lighting solutions available just in case you ever find yourself plunged into darkness. The grid can go down for a number of reasons, so here’s a list of ideas to keep your life bright.
1) Flashlight. The first and obvious choice for many of us is to have a flashlight readily available. In fact, have several available in several places in your home. We keep an everyday flashlight in the kitchen “junk” drawer for regular use, but then we have a more powerful, more durable flashlight in with the preps. If you have kids, consider getting a couple of the small flashlights for each child. Have some extra old-fashioned non-rechargeable batteries on hand. You won’t be able to recharge batteries if the power’s out, right? (Unless you have a solar charger.)
2) Candles. Everyone generally has some candles in the house, from birthday candles to scented candles in jars. However, make sure you have some slow-burning candles that are designed for emergencies. If the power ends up being out for a while, you don’t want to have candles that only last for a few hours. Make sure to store extra matches or a lighter with your candles, this way you’re not stumbling around in the dark looking for one.
3) Headlamps. These have an advantage over flashlights in that you have both hands free. Downside is that you could use your flashlight as a weapon if need be. Headlamps…not so much.
4) Oil Lamps and Lanterns. I combined these together because they accomplish the same thing. Whether it’s a Dietz Lantern, an Aladdin lamp or a number of other great choices, these are a must have. Most have a knob to control the output of light, and they put out enough light that you can easily work, cook, or do other daily activities. However, follow manufacturer instructions and make sure to be in a well-ventilated area.
5) Light Sticks. These put out a fair amount of light and the kids will think they’re cool. I was surprised by how long they last when I used one. These are also a good choice for bug out bags and car kits because they do not take up a lot of space. Down side is that they are one-time use.
6) Solar-Powered Yard Lights. An overlooked but viable option which I think is great is the solar yard light. We purchased several of these bad boys for our yard. It collects light all day and then puts out a nice amount of light. The yard lights we purchased actually have on-off switches, which make them ideal for inside use in an emergency. Plus unlike candles, these pose no fire hazard; unlike flashlights, these require no batteries; and unlike lanterns, these require no fuel. Just make sure to brush off the dirt when you yank it out of your yard!
Whether you chose one of these or some other option we didn’t discuss, just make sure you have some light sources set aside for an emergency. The most important thing is to be prepared.