The best home emergency kit (2023): flashlights, stoves, chargers and more

If you use alkaline batteries, please remove them from the flashlight if it will not be used for a long time, otherwise they will leak and cause problems. Keep them near the flashlight so you can easily find them. Try gluing the batteries to the barrel of the flashlight.

Pro tip: The best performing flashlights are designed specifically to use lithium-ion batteries or have non-replaceable rechargeable batteries that won’t help you if the power goes out for a long time. Rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) AA batteries maintain their performance better throughout the life of the battery, while alkalines’ performance declines more as they drain, so buy some Panasonic Eneloops for $41. They are better for the environment, but if they run out, you can still use regular alkaline AAs.

You may prefer to keep a flashlight handy. The Petzl Actik for $40 is my favorite model and has never let me down, from snowy mountains to dusty deserts. It runs on three easy-to-find AAA batteries and has three brightness settings, the brightest of which is more than powerful enough for home emergencies.


Coleman 4D LED Camp Lantern

Photo: Coleman

Coleman discontinued our previous favorite pick, the Divide+ Push Lantern, so Coleman 4D LED Camp Lantern for $19 is the next best choice for not many coins. Flashlights do a poor job when you need to illuminate an entire room or if you need your hands free for a task. This basic flashlight offers a single setting of 54 lumens with a run time of 175 hours with four D-cell batteries. That sounds like a lot, but compared to other full-size battery-powered flashlights like the Coleman Twin LED Flashlight, which uses eight D cells, it’s economical. Fifty-four lumens isn’t what I’d call bright, but it’s bright enough for most tasks, even reading, while preserving battery life.

If you want to save batteries or just prefer to hang out in the gentle flickering light of candles, keep a spare emergency candle or two. The Coghlan’s $10 36-Hour Survival Candle there are three wicks that will last 12 hours each. Keep a lighter or match nearby.

Water purifier

Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

Photo: Lifestraw

Most of the time, your water supply will work even when the power goes out. But major natural disasters can damage or damage it and you may end up with dirty water. The LifeStraw Go Series Water Purification Bottle for $45 marry the straw component of LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with a BPA-free plastic bottle to filter 99.99 percent of water bacteria for up to 26 gallons of water. The original non-bottle straw is still a good replacement option for $17 and will filter up to 1,000 gallons.

Our previous top pick, the Grayl Ultralight Compact Purifying Bottle for $81, it’s still excellent and depends on the choice. It’s just expensive. Still, it’s a solid, fast one-person filter that will last 300 uses—40 gallons total—before you need to replace the filter. This is what I trust when I travel to countries where there is no guarantee of sanitation.

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