Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bare Minimum: Flashlight

     As I sit here and write this, I can't help but hope that most of you reading this say to yourself "Of coarse I have a flashlight, what apartment/house doesn't!?"  Having lived in NYC for several years, I unfortunately know too many people that would not think that at all.  In fact, some of these exact people lived in Manhattan during the black-out of  '03, and still don't have one.  

      Flashlights are one of those things, you don't realize you need, till you need it.  They come in many shapes, sizes, watts, and many other technical terms you really don't need to know.  They are sold all over the place in the city, their cheap, and there is just no excuse for not owning at least a few.  Make sure they are in easily accessible places, and you remember where you place them.  Just like the radio, you should own one flashlight that has a sustainable power source (i.e. hand-crank, solar), so if you don't have any spare batteries on hand, (Bare Minimum post on batteries linked here) you can charge it manually.  One thing to look out for in a portable flashlight is that it has one or more LED light bulbs.  They last many times longer then incandescent bulbs, and don't blow through batteries.

      I suggest having at least one hand-crank, and one LED headlamp in your apartment.  Headlamps are ideal for times when you need both hands to operate (i.e. everything.)  They are reasonably priced, and are useful when on camping trips, or riding the bicycle late-night.  Headlamps also tend to have LED bulbs in them, allowing them to last for a long time if conserved properly.

      Owning a portable lighting option in a city whose power grid is a little shaky, is a smart start for budding preppers.  Darkness is debilitating (not to mention scary) for most families, and not having light can really make a bad situation, worse.  Do your family, and yourself, a favor and either go out and buy a flashlight or check the batteries of the flashlights you do own.  Taking small steps toward self-reliance will help you feel more confident, and sleep better at night.  Here are some lights I suggest:  


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