During a crisis, it's very common for the lights to go out. During a natural disaster such as a hurricane, power lines can be destroyed. This can happen during floods, wildfires, etc. too.
Even during terrorist attacks or wars, very often, power installations are hit so that civilians lives are disrupted, and the military/first responders have more difficulty conducting defense/rescue operations.
So, being prepared for such a likely scenario where your power is out is imperative. We often take light for granted and assume it will come on at the flick of a switch. Most people only realize just how inconvenient it can be when there's no light in their house after a power outage occurs.
In this article, we'll look at a few options available to you for when the lights go out. While they may not be as effective as the fluorescent lights that we're all accustomed to, this is a survival situation and this is the best you can do till the crisis is resolved.
* How long are the days?
When prepping for your lighting needs, you should be aware of how long the days and nights are during the different seasons where you live. You'll only need light during the dark hours when you're not asleep.
Some places see shorter hours of daylight during winters, etc. Usually, in places like these where there are blizzards, etc. having more supplies such as batteries, paraffin oil, candles, matches, lighters, etc. will help.
* Where do you need light?
If you only need light for your living room for a few hours, or maybe in the kitchen while you're cooking, your lighting supplies will not need to be as extensive. If you're planning on lighting up larger places like your garage or yard to do some work, you'll need more lighting supplies. So, be aware of your needs.
* What's your budget?
While candles, oil lamps and fuel are relatively inexpensive, flashlights and batteries can cost more. In this situation, you always get what you pay for. Always pay more for the more durable and hardy flashlights. They'll last longer and you'll get more bang for your buck.
There are literally hundreds of different types of flashlights of different makes and models on the market. Not all will be survival-ready. Your best bet will be to research online and see which the best ones are.
Ideally, each family member will need one flashlight for their bug out bag, and there should be one flashlight in each room in the house, including one in the garage and one in the car.
Everyone in the family should know exactly where the flashlights are, and when they're done with the flashlight, they need to return them to the exact place they took them from.
Some flashlights are encased in rubber and will withstand knocks and bumps better. They'll also be easier to grip and may be water-resistant or waterproof.
You may wish to get a headlamp for each family member too. This will not only be more economical, but it will be easier to manoeuver during a crisis since their hands will be free. You don't need to get a huge one like the kind that coal miners use but a smaller one will definitely be helpful.
Tactical flashlights are another very useful type of flashlight to have. Not only are they extremely strong, but their illuminating capabilities are extremely powerful. In fact, on a strobe setting, these flashlights can be used for self-defense because the lighting is so bright that it can temporarily blind your attacker.
Every prepper would be wise to own a tactical flashlight for emergencies.
Candles are one of the cheapest forms of lighting that have been used for centuries and they're still around till this day because they're simple and effective. Of course, there are disadvantages with candles.
For starters, they can be blown out by the wind. There are also safety issues such as them toppling over and burning the entire house down, or kids and pets getting too close to the candle flame and getting burns.
The way around this problem will be to find a stable place that's above ground and isolated from any object that might come into contact with it and burn. Pets and children should not be able to reach it too.
If you find the right spot and place a porcelain plate below the candle, it will be stable and safe. Ideally, you should always have a fire extinguisher close to any place where you use candles.
Do note that some people are sensitive to the scents given off by candles. So, be aware of that. Candles are an effective way to provide light during tough times. While you'll still need flashlights, candles will help to conserve your batteries and they're very affordable.
You won't always need bright lights. Candles will help illuminate the room and provide some comfort when you're just sitting around talking with your family during a dark night.
* Solar-powered Lights
The idea is that these lights are charged in broad daylight and can be used at night. There's a limitation here if you live in a place that's cloudy or doesn't get many hours of sunlight, charging these will be difficult.
However, if you live in places where you get lots of sun or it's the summer season, these lights will be very helpful, and you'll not have to use batteries or candles. Solar-powered lights are more economical.
* Oil Lamps
Oil lamps have been around for ages and are effective. However, just like candles, you'll need to find an isolated and safe spot for them, so they're not accidentally tipped over.
There's generally more smoke and soot with oil lamps. So, family members who are sensitive to the scents may feel light-headed or experience headaches. You'll also need to store lamp oil in your supplies to use these oil lamps.
Generally, oil lamps provide much better lighting than candles and you can get better lighting if you place a mirror in front of the oil lamp, but the light is not as strong as the light you'd get from flashlights.
To conclude, as a survivalist, you absolutely must have flashlights and candles in your supplies. The rest of the items mentioned here will help too, but it's imperative that you have sufficient quantities of the main two.
Always remember to store the supplies necessary for the flashlights, candles and oil lamps to work. If you're using flashlights, you need batteries. Don't store rechargeable batteries. If the power is out, your batteries will be rendered useless.
If you're storing candles, ensure that you have lighters and matches. If you're storing oil lamps, do have lamp oils too. While these tips may seem like common sense, it's easy to overlook them. So, do keep them in mind.
Prepare early on for your lighting needs. Having light during dark times will not only bring you comfort and make things easier but will also be very handy during an emergency. This is one of the basic needs that's often overlooked. Be prepared.