An emergency radio with solar and hand-crank generators are small and relatively inexpensive. Sitting the radio in the sunlight charges the on-board batteries, and so will turning the hand crank.  

Additional to the radio function, most of these also have lights and some even sirens, all recharged by the solar and hand crank. Flashlights and lanterns also come in a variety of styles and work utilizing solar, hand-crank and movement power sources. That means conventional batteries are not required.  

Flashlights that have an LED, or light emitting diode, instead of bulbs. The advantage of an LED is that it is very efficient. It doesn’t take much electricity for an LED to make a lot of light.

One flashlight creates energy when you shake the flashlight. A magnet slides back and forth inside the tube, and each time the magnet slides through the coil, the magnet generates a pulse of electricity in the coil. The flashlight also contains a part called a capacitor. A capacitor is like a battery, but it has one big advantage over a battery. A capacitor charges instantly. With just a few shakes, the capacitor holds enough charge to light the LED. Then an on/off switch lets you connect the capacitor to the LED to light it up.

I also favor a solar powered lantern. These come either with on-board solar panels or separate panels that plug into the lantern and build up a charge. I favor the latter one, as separate panels mean that if the lantern breaks, you still have a panel set up that is usable (read, a spare).

You can plug several panels and lanterns together. Set the entire system in the light (and in a safe place) during the day, and you'll have light during the night time. Around here in the winter, we have power outages, so having several light sources is really a good idea.

Especially for a morale builder, this is a good system for the kids. Games, reading materials — books, magazines, you know, the things we used to do before TV and computers. The radios will give you the opportunity to get emergency information, which will be essential, and the lighting is not just a luxury — it is also essential.

Still have questions? Let our friendly and knowledgeable sporting goods staff help. All you need to do is come on down to Orscheln’s.

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