I took a few photos of the flashlights/emergency lighting in my home to show you what types we use, and also to give you some ideas on what types of lighting are out there. It is by no means the only way to have lighting in an emergency, but maybe you'll find a new gadget that will work for you. I am always finding new gadgets to add to our flashlight collection.
Under the Bed- having a flashlight under your bed, inside a pair of sturdy shoes, allows you to grab and go in a disaster. I need to take this one step further and put my shoes and flashlight in a bag that ties to the bed post. If there was an earthquake, objects would be falling all over the place, and hunting for my shoes and flashlight in the middle of chaos would prove difficult.
Flashlights in the Children's Room- Each of my children have a flashlight that hangs on their beds. Yes, I know what you are all saying and it's true. They play with them, and lose them, and to be honest 5 out my 5 kids didn't have a flashlight hanging on their bed when I went to take a picture today. I had a challenge to see who could find one first so I could take a photo. I need to stay on top of things like that and make sure they keep the flashlight within reach. It's one more thing to have to remind the kiddos to do, but it's necessary.
My son keeps his shake flashlight on his window sill. (And yes his bed is next to the window and under a large shelf, and that is probably breaking every earthquake safety rule out there. I'm not perfect and this proves there is always room for improvement.:) The flashlight in his room is a shake flashlight. I don't recommend this kind of flashlight because it takes so much physical power to light the darn thing that it's frustrating. But my son is 9 and loves things that work and so he got that one. My girls have click on flashlights and also the squeeze flashlights. Those are similar to the shake variety but you squeeze the handle until you have enough energy for the light to work. Still not my favorite, but a little easier than the shake kind. Also note that I don't have a picture of the squeeze flashlight, none of the kids could find theirs :)
UV Paqlite- These little light sources are one of my favorite gadgets on the market. I found these at the Self Reliance Expo last year and I was sold on the idea. The stuff (real technical I know) in side of the tubes and the plastic case glow after being held up to a light source. They can be used over and over again and any light source will work to give them their lighting ability. Hold them up to a car light, the sun, indoor light, campfire, etc and they glow for a very long time. I hang mine in our central closet so they don't get played with or lost. They aren't bright enough to use like a flashlight but in a tent or small room they would give off enough light to see what was going on. Think of a nightlight in your kids room, kind of that illumination. Click here to see my previous post on the UV Paqlite. And click here to visit their website.
Solar Lighting- I really like having a solar version of a battery operated flashlight. I leave the one above hanging on my refrigerator to keep it ready to go. It is also a radio. Having batteries on hand for flashlights can be a pain, but you do need those kind too. (Remember having a plan B for your plan B.) Solar lighting comes in smaller size flashlights, I have one on my
nightstand, and are a great option for when the lights go out. Also think about getting some of those solar powered garden lights, the lights on a stake that light garden pathways. They would work great set into a #10 can with rocks to light a kitchen or family area. They would get powered by the sun all day and light your home at night.
Battery Powered Lanterns- I bought these at Walmart for around $10. I do have to store extra bulbs and batteries, but they are one more way to have light in an emergency. The 100-hour candle is also a great resource for light and they are inexpensive. I have also talked about the Safer Emergency Candles HERE.
Candles- Candles are a great item to have on hand. They give off a great amount of light and are also fairly cheap. I made a candle holder out of an old mason jar and it holds the candle on top, and the extra candles and matches are stored inside.
All the items needed can be found around your house and from the Dollar Store. The mason jar is from my storage room, and the candles and matches were both from the dollar store. I placed the matches inside a small bag, and in another bag I placed the striking strip from the match box.
Glue a PVC piece (from the sprinkle section of the hardware store) to the underside of the canning lid, and it becomes the candle holder. This way the PVC piece isn't in the way during storage, it hides upside down in the jar. Now my candles aren't all over the place and I have a steady holder for them. Just a note- take your candle with you to the hardware store to save a ton of time from having to drive back for a different size :)
|PVC sprinkler piece glued to the canning lid.|
Having multiple sources of lighting will only make your life less complicated when you need to use them. It doesn't necessarily have to be a natural disaster to need a flashlight. The other day I needed to look under the stove for a my kids bouncy ball and I knew right where to find a flashlight. (obviously not from my kids' room :) Take stock of your flashlights and batteries and make sure you know where they are.