Eveready EVCAL41BP available at Target for $5.47
Crank Flashlights can turn you into an Organ Grinder
Consider the following example: My Energizer LED area lantern from Target cost $5.47 and will stay lit for 53 hours on 4 AA alkaline batteries. In contrast I would have to crank the flashlight approximately 265 times. Some would argue that these crank systems are good for keeping people busy during disasters. I can think of many more productive uses for your time. Most of these lights are of poor mechanical design and break easily. I have received several broken crank lights from attendees at various lectures on preparedness. I added them to the two that I bought and subseguently broke. The last thing I want to do in an emergency is have my hands tied up because I am spinning up my light source. Don't let your flashlight turn you into an organ grinder!
Crank flashlights and combinations seem to be all the rage. Please consider that you need to crank them vigorously for several minutes to get 12 minutes or so of declining light. The radio / light / weather combinations suffer the same limitations. When the crank breaks you lose your light, radio, and weather report. Additionally, it is not advertised that the rechargeable batteries inside have a limited number of charge cycles and a shelf life span similar to alkaline non-rechargeable batteries.
Power Fail Nightlights. Make a trail of these in rooms and hallways leading to exits. They turn off in the daytime and act as nightlights at night. If the power fails at night, the brighter secondary lights will turn on illuminating you exit ways for several hours. Available at Amazon for $20.00 in a two-pack.
Anchor bookshelves, entertainment centers, dressers, curio cabinets, etc. to wall studs. As seen in this photo from the moderate La Habra earthquake, vertical items can fall damaging valuables, blocking your exit and possibly injuring yourself. If you do not have the skills to do this simple anchoring, ask a friend, neighbor, or handyman.
When it comes to preparedness, there are many practical considerations. These are tried and true concepts that have been submitted by a variety of disaster survivors and specialist.
Store one 40 bottle pack under each person's bed or in their closet. (Available at Costco) This is enough water for every person for over five days. Two 40 bottle packs would last you 10 days (better concept). Rotate on daylight savings time weekend in the spring and fall
Emergency Preparedness for Families and Neighborhoods
The Eveready compact LED area light is one of my favorites. As mentioned previously it uses 4 AA batteries and last for 53 hours in declining brightness. They produce enough light to partially illuminate a dark room. They are so inexpensive I scattered them in every room. Perfect for power failures. I have several extra to give to my neighbors should they also be without light. They are water resistant and virtually unbreakable. Unlike emergency candles or lanterns, they pose no fire threat and produce more light. AA Alkaline batteries store for up to 10 years!