Few disasters pose more potential for devastation than an EMP. With just a single nuclear weapon, a hostile force could knock out the electricity over an entire continent, rendering everything from the power grid to small electronic devices inoperable.
While you are going to have many problems should your country ever be hit with an EMP, figuring out how to light your home is going to be one of the most immediate concerns. Without light, dealing with other challenges will be much more difficult.
I put an asterisk next to this one because it depends on the type of flashlight. Old-fashioned incandescent flashlights should be fine. However, newer LED flashlights could be ruined if you are close enough to ground zero.
The next most obvious choice for lighting your home after an EMP is candles. The biggest benefit of using candles to light your home is the fact that they are easy to acquire, easy to store, and easy to use.
Compared to other lighting methods that make use of fire, candles aren’t quite as dangerous since they create such a small flame. If you haven’t yet added a generous supply of candles to your survival stockpile, now is the time.
The drawback of candles, though, is that they don’t really provide much light. That means you are going to need a large number of candles spread out across your home. While a single candle is only a small fire hazard, dozens of candles could be a real risk.
Rather than relying on candles entirely, it’s best to use candles to light small rooms such as bathrooms and rely on other methods for lighting the larger areas in your home.
3. Kerosene Lamps
Before electricity was invented, kerosene lamps were the go-to solution for lighting a home. These flame-powered lamps are incredibly bright – much brighter than candles – and a single lamp can easily light an entire room.
As with candles, though, kerosene lamps do present a fire hazard. A single kerosene lamp actually presents a much bigger fire hazard than a single candle since the flame is much larger and hovering over a container of highly flammable fuel.
However, with the right precautions, kerosene lamps are safe to use. Unlike candles, you won’t need dozens of kerosene lamps to light a room, so they are also much easier to keep an eye on and manage. Just make sure to set aside plenty of kerosene in a non-plastic container so you will have enough fuel to keep your lamps burning for as long as necessary.
4. Propane Lamps
Propane lamps are quite similar to kerosene lamps in regards to the amount of light they produce. Propane lamps are most commonly used for lighting a campsite, but they can be used to light your home as well in an emergency situation.
The biggest issue with propane lamps is the fact that they output a lot of heat and use up a lot of oxygen. This means that it is important to only use propane lamps in a well-ventilated area away from any flammable objects. Placing them in an area that is not well-ventilated may lead to poor or even dangerous air quality in your home. The dangers of placing such a high-heat object next to anything flammable are self-explanatory.
With that said, propane lamps can be a great way to light your home when the electricity goes out. They put out a lot of light and make good use of the fuel that they require. If you are going to rely on propane lamps to heat your home, though, just make sure that you set aside enough propane tanks to keep your lamps going for as long as you need them.
This might sound like a silly suggestion, but hear me out. Yes, glow sticks are usually used as party favors rather than for lighting. However, there are glowsticks on the market that are designed for lighting purposes, and these glowsticks are much brighter and longer-lasting than the glowsticks you would find at a rave.
Granted, you probably aren’t going to be able to light an entire room using glowsticks alone unless you’ve got hundreds of them. Even the best glowsticks don’t put out nearly as much light as a kerosene or propane lamp. However, a single glowstick can put out enough light to read by, and hanging a few glowsticks from the ceiling can make it easier to navigate your home at night.
There are several other ways to use glow sticks in an emergency. In fact, I wrote a whole article about it.
The best thing about lighting your home with glowsticks is the fact that they don’t present a fire hazard. This is especially beneficial if you have small children living in your home. You probably wouldn’t want to give them a candle or a kerosene lamp to light their room, but you can give them a handful of glowsticks without any real risk.
Again, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right glowstick. You’ll want to find the biggest and brightest glowsticks on the market if you intend to use them for lighting purposes.
To learn more about EMP’s, check out my article on EMP Survival: How To Be One Of The 10% Who Survive.
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