Floods, fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes — with these disasters all-too-frequently making headlines, it’s a perfect reminder of just how important it is to be prepared. One of the easiest ways to do so is to put together an emergency kit with all the essential items you might need so that when the unthinkable strikes, you’ll be ready to respond.
Although the contents of your emergency kit should be tailored to your needs, one item that’s universally agreed upon is a flashlight. Whether the power is out for a few hours or you need to evacuate your home, this all-important tool keeps you from sitting in the dark and can also serve as a location beacon for rescue teams.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some of our favorite flashlights and accessories in today’s blog so you can get your emergency kit in top shape.
Everyday Carry Flashlights
Why you need one: If you want to be ready for any emergency, big or small, it all starts with your everyday carry gear. Having a small, dedicated flashlight on your person helps ensure that when you need a burst of light or the power goes out, you’ll have what you need on hand.
Our top picks
- NITECORE TINI: Keeping a flashlight on your person is as easy as clipping this ultra tiny flashlight to your keychain. Ideal for walking to your car in the dark and roadside emergencies, the TINI offers up to 380 lumens of light in a USB rechargeable body. Not just limited to emergencies, you’ll be surprised at how often this flashlight comes in handy.
- Olight S1R II: Would you rather something you can carry in your pocket? The Olight S1R II rechargeable mini flashlight is one of the smallest handheld flashlights around with a big, 1000 lumen output you can use for repairs, backup light and everything in between.
- Fenix LD15R: Another option for pocket carry is the Fenix LD15R rechargeable flashlight. Unlike the Olight S1R II, the head of this mini flashlight is set at a right-angle so you can clip it so a backpack strap or pocket for easy hands-free lighting. The LD15R also features a 4 lumen red output which can be used for emergency signaling.
Full-size Backup Flashlights
Why you need one: An EDC flashlight is great for daily use and small emergencies, but it’s just as important to have a full-size flashlight in your emergency kit to help get you through extended power outages. These larger flashlights can help you find your way in the dark, light up a room, or signal your location to emergency crews.
Our top picks
- Fenix UC30: Fenix gave this favorite rechargeable flashlight an upgrade in 2017 which improved the output to 1000 lumens and extended the overall runtime to 150 hours. The result is an easy-to-use flashlight that’s powerful enough to handle any emergency. The Fenix UC30 flashlight also has the longest throw distance on our list at an impressive 276 yards.
- Olight S2R II: Next on our list is the Olight S2R II rechargeable flashlight which takes the title of “brightest” at 1150 lumens on the highest setting. Not only is the S2R II compact and easy to operate, but a textured grip makes it easy to carry in an emergency.
- NITECORE EC22: For something a little different, the NITECORE EC22 flashlight offers up to 1000 lumens of light with a twist — literally. Unlike the UC30 and S2R II, the EC22 features an innovative rotary switch control that lets you dial-in the exact output you need. With one of the easiest to use interfaces on all of our lights, this makes a great choice if you’ll be sharing it with younger family members.
Mini LED Lanterns
Why you need one: Flashlights might reign supreme for directed lighting when performing repairs and searching in the dark, but when the power goes out and you need something that can illuminate an entire room, a lantern is your best bet. Unlike traditional fuel lanterns, these battery-powered LED lights offer a much safer and easier to use alternative.
Our top picks
- NITECORE LA10: A lantern the size of a tube of chapstick? It might sound unbelievable, but that’s exactly what the LA10 lantern is. The secret to its size is a unique twist design that hides a retractable diffusor when not in use. This award-winning mini lantern is powered by 1x AA battery and emits up to 135 lumens of output for lighting up small- to mid-sized spaces with ease.
- NITECORE LA30: If you’d like something with a little more power, the NITECORE LA30 rechargeable lantern reaches 250 lumens on the highest setting and can easily light up any room in your home. The best part about this lantern is you have a choice of how to power it: add 2x AA batteries for a replaceable power option or use the built-in USB rechargeable battery when your batteries run out.