Saturday, January 2, 2010

Caught in the Dark

It doesn’t take much of a storm nowadays for you to lose power. No matter where you live and what types of weather you experience you will at sometime experience a power failure if you’re on the grid. It can actually happen even when you’re “off the grid”. It is in these cases you will need some backup source of light.

Murphy’s Law seems to dictate that a power failure always occurs at night. Why does this happen? Your guess would be as good as mine but it would seem to be more of a result of an infrastructure system that is starting to crumble and fall apart. Lack of maintenance as a result of inadequate funding seems to be a common problem everywhere.

Given the fact that the average person has extremely poor night vision; you will need an alternate source of light. I don’t have a set of night vision goggles but do keep several different kinds of emergency light sources handy and ready to go.



At a minimum, you will need at least some form of lantern for a room light. This will give you some freedom of movement without rearranging the furniture with your knees. Something I think we have all done at one time or another! It can be any type you are familiar with or have available…candle, crank, kerosene, or propane powered. The main point is to have something available.



The next item you should have is some form of portable work light that will allow you to work in an area that is dark in order to make needed repairs if necessary. It is probably a good idea to have one in your vehicle as well. It will make changing a tire or engine drive belt a lot easier if you can see what you are doing.



A couple of hand-held lights are also a good item to have handy. It will allow you direct light more easily where it is needed and can usually be easily carried on a belt clip or your pocket or purse.

The good thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot to in order to have some form of light. Close-out specials and bargain sales are a good way to find specials that won’t force you to break your “piggy bank”.

You don’t want to get caught in the dark when something goes wrong!

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those headlight LEDs are a godsend, they use little power and last quite a while. Don't 'light up the night', but for simple tasks, do just fine. A couple of these in the drawer make sense.

I just came in from deer camp, and last night, sure did need one. Had the good ol' 2 D cell Mag-Lite, but you can't cut meat AND hold that light to do the work - need two people. Sort of a pain that.

This is a good post - thanks Riverwalker!

Machinist said...

Anonymous is correct about LED bulbs for lights. A regular bulb converts electricity to heat. The light is a byproduct of this heat so most of the energy is wasted. LEDs convert electrical energy directly into light so they can produce the same amount of light up to ten times longer from a set of batteries. I have bright lights from 80 to 200 lumens with excellent endurance and lights that are less intense but adequate for local use that last an incredibly long time on a set of batteries. I have some 2x D cell Energizer lights that are rated for 100 hours with a set of top grade batteries. Having spent the best part of a night waving cars around a stalled bus on a remote freeway I can appreciate that kind of endurance. I have replaced or converted all my flashlights with LEDs. I carry a high output and a long endurance light in both vehicles. I keep the cheap long endurance lights all around the house so I can find the other lights and other emergency equipment if light is lost suddenly. Feeling your way in bare feet around a house filled with broken glass is not a good start to an emergency response.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 2:30

I really like the LED lights but also have the traditional battery operated lights as well. I also have fuel type lanterns just in case. I probably have almost as many extra lights as I do knives, almost!Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Machinist

LED's are really great and do last a long time but I also have the re-chargeable Stinger Streamlights when a higher output is needed. I also carry the small headlights that are worn on your head for additional hands-free light. The main thing to remember is when it gets dark you aren't going to be able to see how to do much of anything without additional light.

Thanks Machinist.

RW

theotherryan said...

Between my camping/ hiking past and my military present we have a gaggle of flashlights. Got a real nice LED lantern for Christmas from my Ma. Used it in a recent power outage. Got to pick up a couple more of them.

riverwalker said...

To: the other ryan

I have several of the LED lanterns and they make great room lights in a power outage. Sufficient light to allow movement from room to room. I put jean clips on the handles so they can be hung up for use in closets...makes getting dressed in the dark a lot easier.

Thanks.

RW

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