You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > The Basics Of Being Prepared > Keeping The Lights On When The Electricity Is Off

Keeping The Lights On When The Electricity Is Off

When an emergency or disaster occurs, it is probable that you will lose your electricity. Depending on the severity of the situation, you can be without lights for hours, days, or even weeks. Sitting in the dark is no fun, even if it is only for a few hours, so having the means to provide emergency lighting will help to keep life on a more even keel.

Battery Powered Lanterns

These lanterns are a very efficient and easy way to provide emergency lighting when you need it. The Coleman company makes several battery powered lanterns that can bring light to the house when the lights are off. The lantern features four light panels that snap out for individual flashlights or snap back in for one very bright lantern. The panels start to recharge once back in the base. There're also 24 LEDs total, for a lifetime of light, and it's powered by eight D batteries (included in your purchase from Survival-Goods!).

Kerosene Lanterns

If your region is subject to frequent and prolonged blackouts, then you might want to use a kerosene lantern, as these lamps will give you the light you need as long as you have fuel for them. Most of these lamps will run up to 8 hours on a single filling of the reservoir, although some will have to be filled more frequently. Rothco’s kerosene lanterns are great, inexpensive workhorses that are priced so that you can purchase several. On the other end of the scale are Aladdin lamps, which can cost several hundred dollars, but will give off the equivalent of a 60 watt electric bulb. The reason why these lamps give off so much light is because they use a mantle over the flame, which produces a brighter glow. The only problem with a lamp mantle is that it is very fragile and will burn out and need to be replaced in a relatively short period of time. The mantles are expensive, as well as fragile, so this must be factored in if you decide on this type of lamp.


Generators are probably the apex of emergency lighting. There are two types of generators: portable and permanently installed. Portable generators will usually provide a limited amount of electric power to the house, usually enough to power some electric lights and the refrigerator. Permanently installed generators are often large enough to basically provide complete power to the house so that it can run as it normally would.

Regardless of which generator you choose, some care must be taken when using any generator – they will produce dangerous fumes, including carbon monoxide. Never use or install a generator in your home. The generator must be placed outside the house, either in a shed or beneath a roof to give it some protection from the elements. Do not position the generator next to the house, and be sure that the wind will not blow the exhaust into the home.

When a generator is too pricey, every home should always be equipped with reliable flashlights. LED flashlights are not only reliable but can fit in a pocket for easy carrying for when lights go out. Also think about stocking up on candles so every house can stay lit and keep family members from injuring themselves walking around in the dark.