For many years I have written about the vital importance of having suitable flashlights and emergency lighting available at all times. You never know when the next disaster, natural or manmade, might strike you or your business.

Take it from me, as a person who has unfortunately seen first-hand, along with millions of other Americas, the utter devastation of natural disasters, the proper assortment of flashlights and batteries along with other essentials such as ample food and water are a must-have in everyone’s emergency kit.

We are fortunate in 2007 to have many manufacturers of quality flashlights and emergency lighting. They offer a wide array of items to fit virtually every lighting need from a powerful tactical flashlight to a long-lasting LED keychain light.

Here are some of the flashlights and emergency lighting products you may want to contemplate adding to your emergency preparedness kits for your security officers and enterprise operations.

Black Diamond is known for its line of quality equipment for mountain climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts. During a disaster, you may need to have both your hands free, so using a typical flashlight might be out of the question. Black Diamond makes the Icon Headlamp, which features four super-bright LEDs that can be used up to about 200 hours on one set of batteries depending on the setting. Since the Icon is worn on your head, both your hands are available to assist with any emergency situation.

Brigade Quartermasters supplies a wide variety of vital products to our troops and to the law enforcement community, including many items that may be suitable for your emergency kit. Their new flashlight line is called LightSaver and it has many features that might prove useful during a disaster. For example, LightSaver has adjustable brightness levels, emergency slow and fast flash option, a “find in the dark” pilot light and even has an automatic-off feature.

The C. Crane Company Web site features just about every type of flashlight you might need during a disaster. For instance, the Trinity Luxeon LED Flashlight’s body is made from a solid bar of aircraft aluminum and has three bright 1-watt Luxeon Star LEDs that will produce about 35 hours of light from three D batteries. Their CC Trek Flashlight features four bright white LEDs that will give you about 100+ hours of light from a set of three AA batteries. If you need a tiny emergency light, consider the Pak-Lite LED light that weights about 1.5 ounces and emits many hours of light from a single 9-volt battery.

Tool Logic makes some amazing and practical items, from compact multi-function tools to innovative flashlights. For example, Magnetic TracLite switches from a bright keychain light to a hands-free directional light. The T1 Tech Light is tiny, but features a variety of useful features such as a LED light, precision screwdrivers and even a pen. The Tool Logic SL Pro 2 has many features that may be of benefit during any emergency including a knife, a bright LED flashlight, a fire starter and even a signal whistle – all in a compact tool.

Optronics makes a wide variety of lighting equipment including spotlights and headlamps. For instance, the NightBlaster is a lightweight rechargeable spotlight with about a four-hour continuous burn time. The Mini-Lite LED Headlamp produces a bright white beam with about 100 hours of run-time on a set of three AAA batteries.

Pelican is a well-known maker of professional flashlights including lights for police and firefighters. They make the SabreLite 2010 Recoil LED light that produces a powerful white beam and a tough and lightweight body made from ABS resin. It is submersible to about 500 feet and has a “glow in the dark” locator feature.

Just about any lighting product you might need for your disaster kit, Princeton Tec makes it. From headlamps to LED and incandescent flashlights, Princeton Tec likely has something that will fit your particular security operations' needs.

Gerber is a legendary name in the outdoor gear industry. One of their newest and most innovative flashlights is the compact Gerber Recon-M CPL flashlight. What makes this light so unique is the Recon-M CPL - a military-grade Recon task light, and features a white lens, red lens, covert infrared lens and NVIS lens (compatible with night vision goggles), as well as a hard-anodized aluminum body. This “Made in the USA” Gerber light uses a single AA battery.

Underwater Kinetics (UK) is well known for its quality lights first used by diving professionals. Today UK makes a full line of multipurpose and diverse flashlights such as the UK UNILITE with its adjustable LED beam with a rotating head and pocket clip, and the UK4AA ZOOM light that adjusts from a wide beam to a bright spotlight depending on the user’s needs.

Garrity features a complete line of lighting products, such as the Luxeon 1-watt LED Flashlight that is about 10 times brighter than a regular LED and has up to 12 hours of continuous light from a set of three AA alkaline batteries. The Garrity 8 LED headlamp has a 1-watt Luxeon LED, and comes with a useful pivoting head. Everyone should consider adding a spotlight to their emergency kit, and Garrity makes a Luxeon 1-watt Spotlight that is about 10 timers brighter than a regular LED.

INOVA flashlights, made by the Emissive Energy Corp., offers a wide range of lighting products from keychain lights to high-intensity LED flashlights. For example, INOVA has tactical flashlights that may be used by police, security or anyone that wants a powerful, yet compact, flashlight.

PILA makes a line of flashlights including the PILA GL2 Series tactical light. The PILA GL2 is a compact yet powerful light that features a water-resistant design, has a Xenon lamp or LED light assembly available and uses either lithium batteries or rechargeable Li-ion batteries.

The NightStar CS is one of the most amazing and versatile flashlights I have ever seen. It uses no batteries, yet it produces a strong LED light beam. How does it work? Just shake the Night Star CS for two minutes and it will provide about 20 minutes of light.

The Photon Micro-Light by LRI is a basic lighting tool for everyday life, as well as emergencies. The new Photon Freedom Micro packs an amazing amount of lighting power on your keychain, zipper, backpack or even clipped to your ball cap. The Photon Freedom has a long “burn time” of up to about 100 hours depending on its mode.

From LEDTRONICS is the 1-watt Luxeon FlashLED flashlight. The FlashLED features an anodized aluminum body; up to 73 hours of illumination with three AA alkaline batteries; is o-ring sealed and water resistant; and has a detachable wrist strap.

Nite Ize makes a LED upgrade and IQ Switch for a popular mini flashlight. The 1-watt LED upgrade will create a super-bright flood and focused spotlight, plus has a long battery life. The IQ Switch has three power levels, a fast and slow strobe, an auto-off feature and a “find in the dark” flashing LED.

Night-Ops, a division of BlackHawk Products, makes a number of different LED and Xenon flashlights, including the Gladius. The Gladius features a high intensity LED with multiple functions such as constant on, adjustable light levels and even a strobe mode. The Gladius is a quality tactical flashlight made for and by professionals. Anyone in law enforcement, the military or security should strongly contemplate this flashlight.

SureFire is known worldwide for its line of quality flashlights. A favorite of both law enforcement and the military for years, SureFire offers a multitude of flashlights for a variety of uses. A popular SureFire is its E2e, which is a compact light that features a bright light and a stainless steel pocket clip for ease of “on-person” carry.

Dorcy makes a wide variety of flashlights for almost any type of use. A part of its new line of high performance LED lights, the Dorcy K2 features a Luxeon LED that produces about 120 lumens of light output from three AAA batteries.

Coleman, a well-known name in outdoor living products, makes a wide variety of flashlights. They are quality products available at reasonable price points. For instance, you many want to think about the Coleman K2 LED Pack-Away Lantern, which is a lightweight “palm-sized” lantern that can produce hours of light on four AA alkaline batteries.

My Final Thoughts

Along with the availability of proper food, water and other essential supplies, having the appropriate flashlights and batteries are the basic building blocks of any prudent security emergency plan. Don’t wait until another potential disaster strikes; take action now to acquire the suitable emergency lighting supplies for your home, car, business and to carry on your person.