Light sources are important for any emergency preparedness plan. Children and individuals with special needs especially need light not just to see, but also to feel safe. Preparedness experts recommend having several emergency light sources available.
When emergency light sources are mentioned, most people think of flashlights. Flashlights are great because they are small, portable and easy to use. Flashlights are good for directional light, but are not as effective for lighting a whole room. Certain batteries can be recharged many times, even by the sun. Rechargeable batteries are one way to be sure you’ll have power for your flashlights. Be sure to purchase a battery charger for your rechargeable batteries. Solar charger kits like the Goal Zero™ Nomad Guide Combo come with a portable solar panel, battery pack, and 4 AA rechargeable batteries, so you can keep batteries ready if you can’t access electricity. We recommend having a flashlight at your bedside in case of an emergency during the night.
Another option is a hand crank flashlight. This type of flashlight has a lever that you crank or pump for light. The Charger™ Emergency Hand Crank Flashlight with Mobile Phone Adapter will not only give you light, but the ability to charge cell phones and other devices using their car charger. The Wavelength Emergency Radio, Charger & Flashlight also charges your devices, and has a built in radio.
LED (light emitting diode) bulbs use technology that allow an incredible life span of thousands of hours and emit a bright light. Because they don’t have a sensitive filament to break, they can withstand more abuse. LED flashlights are highly recommended for any preparedness plan because of their longevity and reliability. LED headlamps are great for emergency kits because they’re hands-free, lightweight, and point wherever you’re looking.
Old-fashioned decorative kerosene or lamp oil lanterns are another light source. In the category of liquid fuel lamps, kerosene and lamp oil lanterns are the safest type for indoors and put off a good amount of light. There are all kinds of different sizes, styles, and types of lanterns you can buy. Propane lamps are great for outdoor use, but shouldn’t be used indoors because of harmful fumes.
Candles are a reliable light source and all you need is a match to light them. Wax candles are inexpensive and most of us already have them around the house. Scented candles are great decorations and can provide both light and a comforting smell during an emergency. 100-hour liquid paraffin candles last longer than wax candles. Liquid paraffin is smokeless and odorless, which is nice for indoors. The longer the wick the more light it will emit.
Chemical lightsticks are also recommended for emergencies. These lightsticks are lightweight and easy-to-use. They are a great light source when flammable fumes or possible gas spills make fire and electric power unsafe. They are completely safe in any emergency and will offer light for up to 12 hours.
As you prepare yourself and your family for emergencies, don't forget about light sources. Consider how much light you will need for your house. Be sure to consider the people in your house who will need lighting. When the power does go out, you will be thankful you took the time to prepare.