Blackout Bags! Before the Bug Out Bag.
When it’s so dark that
One of the most common emergencys is the loss of power. Usually some drunk ass driver hits a power pole and Shazam….Or a storm rolls through and yep, Shazam…..you get the idea.
The reason for the “Bag” is that is gives you one, and only one place to keep your candles, flashlights, lanterns etc… The kitchen drawer just won’t do. Individual items strewn throughout the house is a fun scavenger hunt, just not during a blackout. Let’s say that you are in bed, wake up and power is out, no moon and nothing but darkness. Where is your firstline of defense, your flashlight?
So what items to we need to gather together for the kit?
- Bag large enough for the following
- One small flashlight for each person
- Batteries for each flashlight (2 sets) not installed
- Several LED Lanterns using same batteries as flashlights
- Candles in tin’s, beeswax is best but standard Parafin wax will work
- Box stick matches
- Night light/Emergency Lights plugged into wall receptacles
- Lighted flasher/Light sticks that can be worn for each person
- If you wear glasses, one spare pair (maybe your last pair)
- Emergency Radio
- Handheld MGRS Radios
For most people, they have a flashlight somewhere fairly close at hand, but now you need to find it in total darkness. One item that should be changed are your night lights you use in specific locations from just night lights to lights designed for short term battery backup. These give you light as soon as the power is off. They can also be unplugged and used as a hand held flashlight. Battery run times vary with age of the light but most publish 8 hours of light. Count on maybe 70% of the 8 hours for realistic usage.
So with the night/emergency lighting you can retrieve your bag, gather the family and get set up. The lanterns do not need to be fancy, we found a set of 3 at a local sporting goods store for 15 dollars. They work just fine so scatter them around for area lighting. Give each member a lighted flasher or light stick so if you are seperated for any reason, the event may not be over. These will make it can be easier to see and find each other. Candles can be used where needed and supervised, they have the capability of making an emergency a DISASTER. You will have the radio to get the news and the portable radios in case you need to split up.
Lighting can make everyone feel more secure and add that sense of normalcy. A crisis does not have to feel like a crisis, get your bag together this week!