When I bought my first charger for my first rechargeable batteries, it was to power my bicycle lights
I remember 4 AA (LR6) batteries lined up in a box that plugged into the wall and that red lights indicated no power, while green lights told me they were charged. I was super-happy not to be sending valuable minerals to landfill in used batteries.
With less waste and a way to utilize essential items over and over again, I became an advocate for rechargeables as soon as they arrived. If you recharge by solar or wind, even better.
Nowadays, rechargeable batteries allow us to live life with a small amount of power available whenever we need it, even if the lights go out suddenly.
Whether you are off-grid, camping, or just stuck at home in a power outage, here’s my list of essential items that I can use in any emergency.
Smart Emergency Bulbs
Modern bulb designers have been busy and you can now purchase bulbs that emit power even when the lights go off.
You just touch the bottom of the bulb with your hand or pre-install the bracket hook on a wall at home before the light turns off. It’s like magic. The bulb lights for up to 5 hours and they are suitable for 85-265V voltage.
Some designs allow you to use the screw end to use like normal bulbs in fittings too so you can utilize them knowing they will continue to shine even when the current is off.
In an emergency, we all need light so rechargeable torches are top of my list.
Related: 7 DIY Projects To Have Ready When The Lights Go Out
I would probably use my bicycle lights if I am outside but in the house, there are 2 torches ready to go whenever.
For teenagers, this is probably the only item they want, but for an emergency contact, this is essential for adults too. Use the power bank to plug into your phone and gain up to 8 hours more power.
However, using it to charge several items at the same time will run down a power bank quickly.
Exterior LED Storm Lamp
In storms and any emergency that cuts off your power, there is a possibility of needing to go outside to fix something broken or to find a missing pet.
There are plenty of good examples that are stormproof and suitable for searching outside for missing items or just checking the perimeter in emergencies.
You can bet that gasoline may not be freely available in an emergency, and this is when a bike comes in very handy. You can buy clip-on lights that you can fix on the bike.
It is really important to be seen as you cycle, so these lights are essential on dark roads without street lighting and can double up as torches too. Some have a manual wind-up handle too for extra power.
The benefit of these is obvious, when phones run out of power or when a family member decides to go foraging for food (or whatever).
They are light, they fit easily into a pocket and they have a great digital display.
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They can cover up to a 3-mile radius and you can tune into 16 channels, so you can keep in touch with family members or friends who use channels, even when the lights are out.
They are essential for me, and they should be for any prepper who knows the value of home-grown food for its vitamins and also its taste, added to the advantage it gives you when the food store is shut at a time like this.
I use tools to keep my orchard tidy and I recharge my trimmer every time it is used. My tools break down quicker than the rechargeable batteries, so I save the batteries each time a trimmer has a broken part.
Now I have 4 batteries, so my total working time has increased from 20 to 120 minutes.
Other useful tools for a prepper include a rechargeable pruner for cutting long branches for emergency wood supplies, but note that this is best done in daylight hours.
Rechargeable cordless drills are fantastic for use without dangerous electrical leads and they can be used without power for woodwork projects.
In an emergency, I would probably use the daylight hours to catch up on all the DIY tasks I have been putting off.
Related: How To Repurpose Old Items Into New Projects For Your Backyard
Whether I want to make a ladder to the roof garden, put up some shelves, fix any gaps in the chicken coop, or chop some firewood, tools are required. Hand saws are hard work but a rechargeable one makes small logs in no time.
Exterior Solar-Powered Garden Lights
These are not essential but very useful. Even if there isn’t an emergency, it is great to have lights that charge in daylight hours and help you to find your way around outside when it’s dark.
Most stores sell a vast array of designs and colors so you can choose the ones you like best. Then line the driveway with enough of these to make it easy to move around outside, even when the power is out.
If the power goes down, at least you have a guide to the solid paths in the garden to avoid tripping in darkness.
Everybody will have their favorite items on a list like this but I hope you have found some new ideas for items to keep charged and ready to go from my suggestions.
It is more advantageous to spend time preparing for outages while the lights are on, both to save money and to have the confidence that your home is better prepared should the lights go out.
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