As the holiday season approaches, many of us struggle to find gifts for the friends and family members who already have everything. Have you considered giving things that will help the most important people in your life be more prepared for emergencies? In this series of posts, DEM looks at the best preparedness-related gifts that our staff and volunteers have given, received, or bought for themselves.Why It’s Useful: Light goes where you’re looking; hands-free; emergency signaling.
Price Range: $20 to $50+ depending on manufacturer, features, and brightness.
Where to Buy: Camping/outdoor outfitters, sporting goods stores, most general retailers.
Don’t Forget: Batteries.
If you haven’t looked at personal light sources since you bought that big aluminum 3-D-cell flashlight in the ’80s, you may be surprised at how far they’ve come in recent years. Innovations in LED technology have shrunk lights, reduced their weight, and increased their battery efficiency. Current headlamps run on two or three AAA cells and weight only a few ounces – light enough that they aren’t uncomfortable to wear for long periods and won’t bounce or slip off during vigorous movement.
Flashlights are always practical gifts, but the added value of a headlamp comes from the fact that it’s hands-free. Whether you’re setting up your portable heater in a power outage, changing a tire on the side of the road, or bandaging a camping-related injury, being able to use both hands (and not having to talk around a flashlight clenched in your teeth) makes every task safer and easier.
Most basic headlamps come with an adjustable elastic headband, a single brightness setting, and a simple on/off switch. Higher-end models have multiple brightness settings, from retina-searing floods and spots to gentle reading lights. Obviously, higher intensities will drain batteries faster. Many also can be set to flash or strobe as an emergency signal. Some, like the example pictured above, have red filters that snap over the LEDs to dim the intensity and preserve night vision.
Disclaimer: The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the LFUCG Division of Emergency Management do not endorse any goods or services mentioned in our blog posts, social media statements, press releases, or website content. Any mention of commercial products is for informational purposes only.