Electricity has been a godsend for modern man, allowing most of the creature comforts that we take for granted. It has liberated us from having to limit our activity to those hours illuminated by the sun, enabling people to see 24 hours a day if they want to. But in the event of a major disaster, electricity is one of the first things to go. Even worse would be a disaster that resulted in an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), as it would render most electronics dead. So how will you be able to see in the dark?
It’s no surprise that flashlights are number one on the list. They’re powerful, handy, light, safe, and seem to have everything going for them. There’s just one problem.
Modern LED flashlights are more susceptible to EMP attacks than older incandescent bulbs, due to the complex electronics powering their bright bulbs. To prevent an EMP event from frying your flashlight, make sure to have multiple flashlights, plenty of spare batteries, and to store everything in a Faraday cage to keep them safe.
Candles may be old school, but they’re effective. The danger, of course, is that of fire, so be sure to keep candles away from anything flammable. It helps to keep them in candlesticks, candle holders, or candle lanterns, especially if you’re going to use them to light your way inside your house.
You can also store wax and wicks to make your own candles in a survival situation, thus ensuring that you have a ready source of light. The other drawback to candles is that they don’t provide much light, so don’t expect to read a book by candlelight. But having even one candle can light up where you are and prevent you from not being able to get anything done after dark.
3. Oil Lamp
Oil lamps are an ancient and primitive form of lighting, but they still work. They run the gamut from simple bowls full of oil to modern oil lamps with adjustable wicks, lanterns, and handles.
Oil lamps can burn a variety of oils, with modern lamps being designed to burn lamp oil. But if you run out of lamp oil, you can use olive oil or other similar vegetable oils.
4. Kerosene Lamp
Kerosene lamps replaced oil lamps in the 1850s and became widespread in use thereafter. But the problem with them is that you have to have a supply of kerosene on hand. While kerosene is currently available from many gas stations, that won’t be the case in a survival situation. Some kerosene lamps can burn oil if they’re properly converted, but you’ll have to study up on that beforehand.
5. Propane Lamp
Propane lamps are even more modern than kerosene lamps, burn clean, and burn for a long time. But again, the problem you have is that you have to have stores of propane on hand. Once your propane is gone, so is your source of light. Your best bet then is to make sure that you multiple ways to make light so that you’re not dependent on propane, kerosene, or other fuels that will be in short supply.