In our connected society, with gadgets and gizmos aplenty, there is one thing you should keep in mind;
If your power goes out, they are running down their charge.
In the olden times, back in the prehistoric days before cell phones, most households were prepared for power outages with matches, candles, and silver colored flashlights with two D batteries in them.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Your power can still go out at any time. There are people on the East Coast of the US that have been without power for weeks.
There are areas in California famous for their ‘rolling blackouts’.
Rolling Blackouts are a euphemism for “we’re the ones with the power, we don’t have enough to go around, and we’re choosing who to give it to tonight.”
This isn’t a joke. You should give two seconds to being prepared.
Now, if you’ve got money, a portable generator is a great choice, but they require some tech savvy. You get the generator, and a fuel source, and then you either plug things into it, OR you buy what’s called a switchgear, which is a fancy sounding name for a diverter switch. Normal power coming in? All is well. Normal power dead? You flip the switch, and the generator is now going to pwoer the house, cutting you off from the city grid.
It’s a great option, if you can afford it, its nice. You can power some extras that way, such as heaters, your fridge and chest freezer, fans, the stuff that keeps food from spoiling or you from freezing to death.
But the minimum preparedness is to keep the darkness at bay.
When the lights go out, every sharp corner and poking edge in your house is now a hazard. Piles of heavy stuff? Hazards to bump into or knock over.
At the minimum, you should have short term lighting in mind, and long term.
Short term? That smartphone of yours has a great backlight. Your tablet, too. A laptop in a pinch. Something to get you to a sustainable source of light.
Now is when you think geek.
There is one huge advantage we’ve got over the golden years; LED light bulbs.
LED light bulbs require miniscule trickle current for maximum light output.
That old flashlight with the D batteries might have lasted an hour on constantly. A modern itty bitty LED flashlight with a couple AA batteries might last a few hours.
But even battery powered LED flashlights run down eventually, and just having a four pack of LED flashlights isn’t enough with a pack of kids who want a night light that you don’t have available at 2 in the morning.
This is when you pull out… the hand generator LED flashlight, in full-on geek mode.
This LEGO dynamo LED flashlight with a hand crank generator, for example.
Nothing reassures your kids quite as much as a LEGO maxifig that lights up, is poseable, and will never, ever be dead.
And there are several styles too, so each child can have their own.
There are many more traditional hand torches with dynamo generators out there, pretty cheap too. You can get one for around $10, and have some peace of mind. A flashlight that you know ain’tent dead yet.
Just a thought, my friends. Candles are great, inexpensive, and add a warm mood to a house.
At the same time, having candles lit up in your children’s rooms when everyone is asleep is probably not a good long term plan.
Okay. I’ll admit it. I just think the LEG flashlights are cool, and I’m trying to get you to buy some.
We own one for Alex, and let me tell you, you crank that sucker up and it lasts for hours. HOURS.