NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- On this night of spooks and goblins, do something positively angelic for your business: Get the right items on hand for the next snowstorm, blackout or heaven knows what.
Call me superstitious, but all those kids walking around in Freddy masks, troll suits and Scream costumes makes me want to check my generators, flashlights and first aid kits. Sure, they may not stop supernatural bad guys, but there is something to knowing that when the next real gremlins show up, I have the tools I need to give myself the best shot.
And just like everything else in the gadget-o-sphere -- down economy not withstanding -- innovation in safety and preparedness gear continues to ramp up. Here are my top disaster-survival tools to run out and get today -- before the monsters come out tonight.
eGear Pro Focus Control 400 Headlamp ($95.05 at Amazon)
I hear ya! A full C-note for a flashlight with just 25 minutes of up time? But trust me, this bad boy is worth the coin. It throws 375 lumens -- or a really bright beam -- about 300 feet! And in lower power and brightness modes, the unit can last up to nine hours, which is exactly what you want when the power goes out.
Energizer Edge 6-Inch Flameless Candle and Holder ($23.85 at Amazon)
Our ancestors figured out pretty quick that candlelight keeps a group calm in the dark. Only problem is the dumb things burn out after about a few hours. Now you can forget all the stress, goop, wicks and wax, though. Energizer's (Stock Quote: ENR) new line of spiffy clean LED faux flickering lamps have more than 300 hours of burn time. That means they provide an all-night-long calming light for a month! Please go out and get a couple.
Bridgford Ready-To-Eat Sandwiches ($15 for four at Cabelas.com)
Laugh all you want, but when things really turn nasty, think how great it will be to have a decent-tasting barbecue sandwich in your pocket. That's the value prop of the prepared-food experts at Bridgford. The company makes a reasonably tasty, energy-giving, pocket-sized meal that essentially never goes bad. Plus there are great flavors. Cinnamon Bun? Yummm.
Relief Pod Emergency Kit ($100)
The physical and metaphorical opposite of Starbucks' "tall" coffee -- which is actually sadly small -- Santa Ana, Calif.-based Relief Pod's "large" emergency kit is almost ludicrously tiny. In an 11 x 4 x 7 inch bag -- the size of a small laptop case -- you get (among many other things) a marker, pen, paper, face mask, gloves, bandages, pocket knife, signaling mirror, poncho, blanket, rope, whistle, work gloves, energy bars, 8 ounces of water, sanitary bag, tissues, nail clippers, toothbrush and paste. And duct tape. Need I say more?
LuxuryLite KoozyKitchen 2-Minute Stove ($70)
Portable stoves are the tablet PCs of the emergency and outdoor market: There are zillions of 'em. But I like what Lake Jackson, Texas-based LuxuryLite Gear is doing with its KoozyKitchen stove. Besides being 13 ounces without gas canister, the unit works with any twist-on fuel can and is small enough to stay attached until fuel runs out. That means you never waste a gram of gas. And no matter what, you can always boil water and make the team a hot meal. Plus, who doesn't want do business with a small, scrappy company such as LuxuryLite that sticks it to tech giants including Brunton and Coleman?
Be safe this holiday season!