The Weather Channel keeps the public informed about hurricane preparedness, as do local media outlets for specific regions impacted by horrific storms. But aside from boarding up windows, removing potential projectile objects from porches and patios, sandbagging entrances to help block water surges from seeping indoors, stocking up on batteries and paper goods, and checking the generator (too late if you don’t have one already), a few items that might not have made the shopping list could mean the difference between suffering in the dark and suffering less in the dark because of invaluable, but often forgotten, sources of light during power outages.
Sure, flashlights are common and effective tools for lighting the darkness (when a full moon is unavailable), but some other options come in handy when, well, you need both hands free.
While candles have filled in for centuries as lighting sources, fires forced ingenious minds to create more effective and less dangerous methods for brightening dark areas…and they require you to carry around with you.
But a couple of light sources that are safe and relatively inexpensive are often overlooked during power outages. One indespensable item for those inevitable moments when you need both hands to accomplish a task at hand is a headlamp.
Coal miners, construction workers, and home inspectors know the advantages of being able to illuminate a space without having to sacrifice one hand holding a flashlight. (The between-the-teeth, back-up maneuver is uncomfortable, even for short periods of time.
The importance of these lightweight gadgets wasn’t lost on Home Depot as the stores made preparations for Hurricane Sandy. In a prominent spot at the front of the Beards Hill Home Depot store in Aberdeen, a boxed display of LED headlights conveniently reminded people this might be an item to add to their list. (The fact that the store was completely sold out of “D” batteries but still had several displays of headlights suggested people had other priorities, or the thought of them never made it on their list.) For under seven dollars for two, including three AAA batteries, this was one of the best buys around. Imagine being able to wander around the house – hands free in the dark until the electric service was back on. Or reading in the dark at bedtime instead of using a light that attaches to your book.
Another safe and invaluable lighting device often overlooked during electric outages is the flameless candle. Usually sold around the Christmas holidays, these wax-like, battery-operated candles are useful year round, and especially whenever the threat of electric outages surface…like with Hurricane Sandy.
Scattered throught the house, the soft, warm glow of these candles provides enough light to guide a path from room to room. While many people are accustomed to having a night light in the bathroom, many of us forget that with outages associated with hurricanes and winter storms, the ambient light seeping into the house from streetlights and moonlight are absent with severe weather.
So while Hurricane Sandy continues its journey up the east coast, stay safe and always find a way to keep the light on.
Let me know what items were indispensable to you and how you managed during Sandy’s visit. And please ‘Subscribe’ to my articles by clicking on the Subscribe button near my name. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.