I've lived in California long enough to have experienced some big earthquakes, and plenty of power outages from big storms like the ones predicted for the current El Niño season. Plus, nuclear attack, alien invasion, and zombie Armageddon are all possibilities we all have to live with. When shit gets real, you're gonna need light.
I'm pretty good about keeping emergency preparedness supplies well-stocked, but much of the non-perishables in my kit are older. My longtime emergency lantern, which I also use for camping or after-dark beach outings, was one of those big old '90s clunkers that took big old massive heavy batteries. I screwed up and left the batteries in too long. They crapped battery blood all over everything, and the lantern innards got all melty. I had to replace it.
So I took a chance on a $9.99 LED lantern on Amazon, and I really love it so far. You turn it on by pulling the two little wire handles away from the base, which makes a very satisfying SWOOSH sound. It's cheap and simple, but very gracefully designed.
This little TaoTronics collapsible lantern/flashlight requires three AA batteries, and promises up to 40 hours of light per round. The company says it will last you 10 years. I just bought mine a few weeks ago, but I will get back to you in 10 years and let you know.
"No more fumbling for the power button or trying to light up a match in darkness," the marketing copy reads. At 8.9 oz, 5 inches tall, "You can hang the Lantern on a tree or tent while camping, hold it on your way through the darkness of your house during a storm, or on your way to explore the wild."
While there is abundant evidence that zombies are highly averse to LED light, the manufacturer makes no guarantees. But when the undead crawl from their graves toward my house in search of delicious tasty boing boing brains, I know which $10 LED lantern I'll grab in the hopes of blinding their putrid little zombie eyes and saving my family from certain doom.