There are many items that are absolutely essential to those of us who are preparing for a potential WSTF situation. I want to recommend 2 right here. The first is a good flashlight. I have a Garrity wind up flashlight. I bought it about 6 or 7 years ago. I use it for everything. I keep one by my bedside. I have used it constantly during those years. It has never failed. I have never had to replace batteries or bulbs (it uses LED). I am amazed at its dependability. It's always there. I also keep one in each of my cars. I believe I paid less than $10 for it (might be a bit more now). Another thing is keeping up with what is going on in the world. Whenever the power goes off it is easy to feel that you are cut off from everything. No TV or radio. It's a strange feeling. So, I recommend a crank radio for those times. One of the best for the buck that I have seen is the MIDLAND ER102. This is a little gem! It receives AM and FM. It also gets 7 NOAA Weather Channels. This is neat if there is an emergency situation such as a Hurricane, tornado, flooding, tsunami or blizzard, etc occurs. I admit that for those of us in the Northwest, some of those situations may not occur but some will eventually. NOAA comes in loud and clear in this area. The radio can be set to alert you to a declared emergency situation with voice or, with a visual flash with the built in 3 LED flashlight. It comes with a thermometer with a freeze alert. It has a clock with alarm (voice or buzzer). It uses digital tuning. It has several methods of power. It has a crank power generator to charge the Ni-MH battery pack. It also uses 3 AA batteries. It comes with an AC adapter to use for listening or recharging the battery pack. It has a USB port to recharge cell phones. I could say a lot more about this radio but you should check it out yourself. It is available right now for less than $40. I want to state that I have NO financial interest in the sale of these items. My recommendation is because I feel that these are tools that everybody should have. I have enough confidence in them that I bought one of each for all of my 6 adult children. I purchased these items at Bi-Mart. But, I have also seen similar products at Radio Shack. CCrane.com also has comparable items.