This cool flashlight runs off of almost any battery you'll find in your home's junk drawer

I maintain emergency kits for my home and jeep. There are a number of bug out essentials in the pack I carry with me anytime I leave the RV. I've written a lot about emergency preparedness gear for several outlets over the years. Keeping folks safe during an emergency was a big part of my old life. Despite all of this, I have a hell of a time finding a flashlight that doesn't cost a mint that I feel comfortable recommending to folks for their emergency preparedness kits.

I hate hand-cranked flashlights, despite loving the idea of objects capable of providing their own power. Not a single hand-cranked torch that I've tested over the years has lasted me more than a few hours of use before showing signs of impending mechanical failure. In an emergency, solar powered gear is great to have... provided there's enough light to provide an adequate charge to the battery that you've got connected to your panels. Depending on where you live or what sort of disaster has knocked out your home's lights (there's not a of a lot of sunlight during a hurricane), it might not be a great solution for many people. Happily, it looks like Panasonic has developed a flashlight for their Japanese customers that can use damn near any battery you might run across during an emergency.

Panasonic's Any-Battery LED Flashlight BF-BM10-W, as its name suggests, can make use of any number of different batteries to provide you and your family with enough illumination stay safe and provide some much-needed comfort during an emergency where the power grid goes down. Read the rest

Sweden sends "If War Comes" booklet to all of its 4.8 million households

Sweden is sending out 4.8 million booklets to households across the country called, "If Crisis or War Comes" (Om Krisen Eller Kriget Kommer).

The booklet is 20 pages long and explains what to do if there is a terrorist attack, if all the shops run out of goods, if tap water stops running, if infrastructure is sabotaged, if you hear a broadcast emergency alarm, and loads of other really scary scenarios. The booklet is meant to help citizens "cope with a major strain."

This isn't the first time Sweden has prepared its citizens for wide-spread disaster. Last time it distributed a similar pamphlet was during World War II.

According to The Guardian:

Similar leaflets were first distributed in neutral Sweden in 1943, at the height of the second world war. Updates were issued regularly to the general public until 1961, and then to local and national government officials until 1991.

The publication comes as the debate on security – and the possibility of joining Nato – has intensified in Sweden in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and recent incursions into Swedish airspace and territorial waters by Russian planes and submarines.

You can read the entire booklet here. Read the rest

Makeshift candles from household items

If the power goes out, Willow Haven Outdoor reminds us you might have some household items that would make a good candle. Read the rest

Imagining life “After the Big One” hits a major U.S. city

Vice today published a 5-part, deeply reported and researched science fiction series about what happens after the a massive earthquake hits an American city. Read the rest

I love this super-bright minimalist LED lantern, and will use it to survive the apocalypse

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. Read the rest