Living in an earthquake-prone country like Japan means constant vigilance in terms of disaster preparedness. Though the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 struck during daylight hours, there’s no guarantee that a disaster of similar magnitude won’t strike at night. Most people keep a flashlight or two at home, however, if power is cut as a result of an earthquake, as groping your way around in the dark while in a panicked state might not be as easy as you think.

Thankfully, Tokyo’s Force Media group has come up with an ingenius solution to this problem. And it’s much more than just a regular-old flashlight…

The company is hoping you’ll consider equipping your home with their new Gura-pika flashlight/radio hybrid with hand crank power generating capability. At first glance, Force Media’s device doesn’t appear to be much different than other offerings on the market. However, its radio tuner is operating around the clock and when emergency warnings are broadcast over Japan’s Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system or its Emergency Warning System (EWS), the flashlight will automatically turn itself on and sound an alarm. In other words, when you feel the quake shaking, you won’t be left in the dark (see following illustration).
flashlight illustration

Even if you have the FM/AM radio and light switched off the tuner is constantly in operation. As such, the flashlight should be left plugged into a wall socket using the provided AC adapter. Should an unfortunate situation arise, the fully-charged LED flashlight will provide about 14 hours of illumination while the radio will work for around six. Of course the Gura-pika is equipped with a hand crank for manual charging. Rotating the crank about 120 to 150 times for one minute will generate enough power to operate the light for 38 minutes and the radio for eight.

With Ryukyu University predicting an erupting Mt. Fuji by 2015, now might be a good time to add Gura-pika to your emergency preparedness kit.

Source: Web R25