There was this time when I was young, but old enough to babysit my brothers, and the power went out. I remember it happening a lot growing up, but I think that’s just how memories work. It probably didn’t happen all that very often, to be honest, but in my mind, it did. It happened often enough, anyway, that I knew we needed to find some candles.
I found a box of birthday candles and a book of matches in a drawer in the kitchen. Perfect. I asked my brother to hold one in each hand and I lit them. We quickly realized just how fast birthday candles burn, and my solution was to point them upward. My brother listened to me … and burned his fingers in the process.
After that, we probably just sat in darkness until my parents came home. Or not. Honestly, I don’t remember what happened after. But I still remember those burnt fingers (and I think my brother does too!).
So every year as hurricane season approaches, as I check our hurricane preparedness kit, I make sure it contains a candle and lighter. It has to in case the electricity goes out and we need light — and I’m old enough now to know that birthday candles are not gonna cut it.
In case of a black out, though, I don’t want to just have a plain candle burning. If we’re going to burn one, it’s going to be one that smells great.
Emergency Lighting Options For Hurricane Preparedness
Let’s start with these since I’ve already mentioned them. Don’t go with birthday candles. You want large jar candles, preferably ones that come with a long wick. You light it and then you can do other hurricane-related things — like playing board games with your family, reading a book, or cooking one of our oven-free meals — without making someone hold the candle.
But what if the hurricane has you pent up indoors for a few days? Oh sure, you can live on canned food and bottled water, but your house (just like the bread you stocked up on) will probably start to go stale. You know what I mean, right? The scent of stale air because you can’t exactly keep your windows open when there’s 100 mile per hour winds blowing. So you need something to take the staleness out once the hurricane leaves.
So you might want to consider a flame-free wax warmer. Or, at the very least, a scented candle.
Before the hurricane season starts, be sure to locate your flashlights. Ours is usually on top of the fridge, but sometimes, it ends up in the cabinet next to the fridge. I have no idea why. But when it’s dark and you need a flashlight, you don’t want to be fumbling around looking for it.
And, while you have the flashlight on your mind, be sure to grab batteries for it too. A flashlight isn’t going to help you if it dies.
There is a town near us that hosts a weekly beach bingo. It’s fun … but it does start to get dark at night, so everyone brings battery-operated lanterns with them. We didn’t know this the first time we went, and, let me tell you: It’s hard to play bingo outside in the dark.
When my parents moved to North Carolina, we bought them a battery-operated lantern for beach bingo. And last year, when a hurricane came through and we needed lighting options, we borrowed it … just to be safe.
Usually, solar lights sit outdoors on your porch or walkway, absorb the light all day, and illuminate your path all night. But in a pinch, you can bring them indoors and they can light your home when the power goes out.
Speaking of solar, another good thing to have is a solar-powered phone charger. We lost power for almost three days last year when Hurricane Florence ripped through the area. If you stayed locally, that means you couldn’t charge your phone for three days. And that’s scary. A solar-powered phone charger changes all that.
Use a generator.
I’m pretty sure we will leave every time there’s a Category 3 or higher hurricane. We had voluntary evacuation this time, but seven miles up the road was mandatory evacuation, so we left to be safe. So many people who stayed picked up generators so they could run lights, air conditioning, and the fridge.
If you do decide to stay, you might want to get a portable generator. The only people who were really able to stay back here instead of evacuating had one. You can get a gas-operated one (but be sure to stock up on gas before the storm hits) or a propane-operated one. I would prefer to get a propane one, but that’s in theory. I haven’t actually used either version.
What emergency lighting options for hurricane preparedness do you have in your hurricane kit? Chances are, you have a candle. If you do, what scent is it? Comment that below!