Tag: headlamp

Power Outage – Where are your emergency lights?


Have you been watching the news footage coming from Puerto Rico? Satellite images show how dark the island has become because of power outages. It’s a reminder to us all to revisit emergency lighting.

Always-ready ambient lighting . . .

If the power goes out in our community center, battery-powered emergency lighting goes on automatically. Why not have the same level of preparedness at home?

One model — wall mounted emergency lights.

I have written before about wall-mounted automatic emergency lights. They plug into a socket and normally do duty as night lights (good for kids, visitors and wakeful spouses). When there’s a power outage, they light up and can be pulled out and used as flashlights, too. Cost: $12-20 each.

In my estimation, Emergency Automatic Power Failure Lights are a basic piece of emergency equipment.

A new find — emergency light bulb.

And this week, I found another automatic light I want to make you aware of. I think it would be particularly appropriate for families with children or families with older people for whom not being able to see would be dangerous.

3 in 1 lamp

Why I like this 3-in-1 bulb.

I pulled these images to try to show how the bulb works. It’s designed to screw into a regular socket, so you can just put it into a table lamp, like in the picture, and use it like an ordinary bulb.  It’s a soft color, and because it’s LED technology, it doesn’t use much power and doesn’t get hot.

You leave it in all the time so it is always charged.

The cool this is that IF THE POWER GOES OUT, THE LAMP GOES ON!  Because it has a built in battery, it will burn for about 5 hours. (Ultimately its battery will run out, of course.)

Let’s say the power goes out. You can find your way directly to the lamp, and then you can REMOVE THE BULB and use it as a flashlight! What about having one of these bulbs with you when you travel?? Pop it into a hotel lamp, and if something happens during the night you’ll be able to see  (Just don’t forget it when you check out.)

This bulb costs less than $5 when you buy two. Check out full details and a video HERE before you buy.

But for powerful emergency lighting . . .

The lights described above don’t give off enough light to actually repair something or find and rescue somebody in trouble. For that, you need more power. After considerable research our CERT team invested in several very large spotlights. They have bright halogen bulbs – 18 million candle power!

These are too bulky to casually carry around. Rather, you’d turn one on and set it up to illuminate an entire scene.

One of the reasons we chose this model is because it can be plugged into a car battery to be recharged! (We’ll have plenty of cars available in our neighborhood.) The car battery (DC) adaptor comes with the lamp. Below is the link directly to Amazon. On the day I wrote this, prices varied from as low as $57 to as high as $97 for the same lamp! So shop carefully.
Cyclops C18MIL Thor X Colossus 18 Million Candle Power Rechargable Halogen Spotlight

Now you probably wouldn’t need something as big and powerful as the Cyclops to get you through a simple power outage. But if the outage continued for many hours – or for 14 days as happened to some people caught in Hurricane Sandy and now, in Puerto Rico – emergency lighting is going to play an important role.

Here’s a quick review of standard emergency lighting. Do you need to put some of these on your shopping list?

1. Ordinary battery-operated flashlight. Cheap ($3-$15), easy to operate. As long as the batteries work, you’ll have at least SOME light! I recommend getting at least 250 lumens. Of course, the beam is narrow, and you have to use one hand to hold the flashlight. Here’s a really good one: LED Tactical Flashlight,Wophain Super Bright 800 Lumens CREE XML T6 LED Outdoor Handheld Flashlight Adjustable Focus Zoom Flashlight With 5 light Modes, Ultra Bright, Zoomable,Water Resistant
2. Headlamp. Again, battery operated, but you’ll be SO much more efficient with two hands free! Tape one to your helmet, or wear one over a cap. Costs start as low as $7 and go up from there. Here’s a best-seller: LE LED Headlamp, 18 White LED and 2 Red LED, 4 Brightness Level Choice, LED Headlamps, 3 AAA Batteries Included
3. Battery-operated lantern. We’ve drafted an entire new Advisory about lanterns. Prices usually range from $10 – $30. Here’s one with an AM/FM radio built in: Northpoint 12-LED Lantern with 4-LED Flashlight and AM/FM Radio, Green (I have a lantern in nearly every room, particularly in the bathroom.)

One final note . . .

Having enough battery-operated lights, and a supply of extra batteries, will prevent you from reaching for candles until you are absolutely sure it’s safe.

Hope I’m not preaching to the choir on this topic, but it’s always worth a reminder!

Virginia Nicols
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team



Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family


Traffic was CRAAZY today, and it’s not even Thanksgiving! Everywhere the news is about early shopping (plus some football games, of course).

If you’re ramping up for some holiday shopping of your own, I’d like to suggest the following . . .

Emergency survival kit items

“Makin’ a list . . .”

Small, very cool, dual-purpose gifts

By which I mean, gifts that are fun to receive and even to play with, but which have a much more lasting value because they become important items for a survival kit!

Here are seven such treasures, each under $25

If you need a shopping list, just print out this page!  If you want to shop (which I recommend!), click on the links below each item description.

Clicking the links will take you to Amazon, where you can compare and combine items for the best possible pricing plus free shipping. Just so you know, if you buy from Amazon, we may receive a small commission.  It doesn’t change the price you pay.

 *  Headlamp – Of course you have a flashlight in every car and hopefully one in every room of the house. And, we hope, with at least 200 lumens. Now, consider how handy a HEADLAMP will be when both arms are full of blankets, children, toys, or other supplies!

LE LED Headlamp, 18 White LED and 2 Red LED, 4 Brightness Level Choice, LED Headlamps, 3 AAA Batteries Included

*  Magnesium lighter – Hold a fire-lighting contest for all your teens on Christmas Day. This 3-pack of magnesium lighters gives you the chance to compete – and learn an essential skill!

The Friendly Swede Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter Blocks (3 Pack), Black

*  Paracord bracelet – Totally cool, totally comfortable, and very handy in an emergency, these bracelets contain 17 ft. of strong cord and come in just about any color you – or family members – could want! This link is to a braid-it-yourself kit, which would be a great holiday activity. Or pick out an already-made one.

Paracord Planet 550lb Type III Paracord Combo Crafting Kits with Buckles (ZOMBIE)

*  Tin of hard candies – Chocolate melts, caramels ooze and stick, mints crumble. But hard candies withstand all sorts of weather and when you need a pick-me-up in an emergency – or on the long drive home after the holidays! – this will do the trick. Top quality, top flavor.

Cavendish And Harvey Candy (3 Pack) Fruit Hard Candy Tin 5.3 Ounces Imported German Candy (Orange Drops)

*  Swiss Army Knife, the classic – We all love our Swiss Army knives. Whether you get this simple, efficient one or a giant, every-tool-in-the-toolbox version, it will be a welcome gift. And a great addition to a survival kit.

Victorinox Swiss Army Camper II Folding Camping Knives, Red, 91mm

*  Walkie-Talkies — Favorites of children, parents and CERT members, these handy radios work for fun games around the house, at the mall for keeping track of the family, and in an emergency when all other phones are out!  (We have several pairs, with pre-arranged channels in case we are separated.) (As you shop, consider the range figures as approximations only, achieved under “optimal conditions!”)

Midland LXT118 22-Channel GMRS with 18-Mile Range, E Vox, and Channel Scan (Pair)

*  Water Bottle with Built-In Filter This may not fit in your traditional Christmas stocking, so add it after everything else has been opened. We know water is essential, but bottled water gets old, and is really heavy. What you CAN pack so it will always be ready is a reusable water bottle with built-in filter.

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter

Now, if you’re VERY detail oriented . . .

. . . you will have compared this list with the photo and you will have discovered two discrepancies. First, the list contains a water filter bottle that isn’t shown. (Too big to fit in the sock, and too big to fit in the picture!) and Second, the image shows a radio that’s not listed.  This happens to be one of our favorites, so I included it because I do as often as I can.  Find out more here on our radio review page.

Do you have recommendations we can add to our list of “Favorite Survival Kit Goodies Under $25?”  Send them along!


Your Emergency Plan Guide team


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