Oct 30 2019
When I was a child, my father insisted on having a flashlight in every room. At the time, I didn't understand this obsession, since all that was necessary to light our home was to flip a switch. Instant light.
Then, one dark August evening, a thunderstorm hit our town with a vengeance. Naturally, the power went out, as did our lights. In a flash (no pun intended), I understood Dad's insistence about flashlights... and I became just as obsessive as he was.
In those days, the only flashlight readily available was a heavy, Army-green monstrosity that required four batteries. Now, flashlights span the gamut from simple, basic lights to sophisticated high-tech gadgets that are so strong, they literally could blind an adversary. There are tiny, solar powered lights that hang on a key-chain, and huge lights that could illuminate an entire neighborhood.
My favorite, however, is a hand squeeze flashlight. It's the one that takes center stage among my survival gear.
First, my hand squeeze flashlight was so inexpensive that I could... and did... buy several. I have them tucked in my bedside survival kit, in my 72-hour pack, and I have at least two in my van, one in my garden shed, and several scattered around the house. Basically, anywhere I have survival gear stored, there's a hand squeeze flashlight.
Second, they work! One minute of squeezing and I have adequate light for about thirty minutes. I never need worry about batteries, since the hand squeeze flashlight doesn't require them! Yippee! There is nothing more frustrating than desperately grabbing a much-needed flashlight, only to discover the darn thing won't work because the batteries are dead.
Next, the hand squeeze flashlight is easy to use. Simply unlock the handle and squeeze. It doesn't take a great deal of pressure. If the light dims, just squeeze the handle a few more times and voila, there is light! It really is that easy.
Additionally, it's amazing how much light this little hand squeeze flashlight emits. That's because it contains two strong LED lights.
Now, to the specifics: A hand squeeze flashlight is also called a dynamo flashlight. It stores energy in a flywheel. The user squeezes the handle repeatedly, causing the flywheel to spin. The flywheel is attached to a small dynamo which actually supplies the electrical current.
Although we think of the hand squeeze flashlight as a 'modern' invention made popular by the current interest in preparedness, these handy-dandy lights were actually given to soldiers during World War II.
However, today, a hand squeeze flashlight is the ideal item to add to your survival gear, scatter around your home, and slip into a pocket of your coat. Consider taping one to the underside of your desk at work as well. When the electricity sputters or a disaster occurs, you'll be ready, regardless of your location when the event begins.
Since I live where the power goes out when someone sneezes too hard, I keep several hand squeeze flashlights handy. With no dead batteries or broken bulbs to worry about, I figure I'm in good shape for a late-night foray to the refrigerator or for an unexpected disaster.
I bet Dad would be proud of me.