Glow Sticks



Another inexpensive item to store with lots of uses.


1. Mark a path. Place glow sticks along a path or hang in trees to mark a path. This is crucial when camping or evacuating outdoors and a path to a port-a-potty or outhouse needs to be marked for midnight trips.

2. Mark the edge of a hazard. During the day a hazard may be marked using a rope to cordon off an area. At night hang glow sticks on the rope to protect those walking around.

3. Signal rescuers. Place glow sticks in an open area with universal signals recognized by all rescuers. (See Ground to Air Rescue in your Totally Ready Emergency Binder) Float glow sticks in water if an open area is not available. Glow sticks will sink so place them in an empty plastic water bottle before placing them in the water or tie to a rope that has been secured on the shore.

4. Nighttime swim or bathing. Tie to a rope that has been secured on the shore or marking off a safe area to swim or bath at night.

5. Follow the leader. When hiking while it is dark attach a glow stick to backpacks to easily see each other.

6. Fishing. Fish are attracted to light and glow sticks are waterproof. Place in water but be sure to attach a string to the hook on top of the glow stick or they will sink.

7. Keep track of the kids. Hang glow sticks around the neck of children or hook them to backpacks when visiting an amusement park at night or in an evacuation center.

8. When the lights go out. During a power outage use glow sticks in bathrooms and hallways as nightlights, saves batteries and calms children.

9. Take to a shelter. During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina the power went out in a church being used as an evacuation center. Glow sticks were hung in hallways at night and restrooms.

10. Protect the family from injury. Place a glow stick in every room in the house. Hang on the back of doors or place in drawers so you can easily grab one in case on a power outage, you don’t want to get injured feeling around for a light source in the dark.

11. Place next to each bed in case of a nighttime emergency. In case of a fire or earthquake at night family members can activate their glow sticks and see to escape or be seen by rescuers.

12. Light up your car when stranded or broken down. Allow oncoming cars to see you without running down the battery and provide light for rescuers to find you.

13. Make a lantern. Activate glow stick, cut open and pour into a glass container. Add water and seal. This intensifies the light and is great to use on a table to play games or read.

14. Place stick in a bottle of water for a brighter light.

15. Use on the back of a bike for a nighttime ride.

16. Place on the ground or hang on the car at the rear and side when changing a tire in the dark.

17. Light up a tent when camping.

18. Place on tent stakes and ropes so you don’t trip at night.

19. Attach to dog collar to keep track of them at night.

20. Keep kids safe on Halloween. A great way to rotate your stash.

21. Send with someone going to seek help when stranded. Glow sticks can be seen at great distances and used as a signal at night. You can signal by attaching a chord to the glow stick and swinging it around over your head. The person going to find help can signal you and you can do the same with a second glow stick leading them back to your location.

22. Attach to the end of an item you are transporting at night when it extends beyond the truck bed.

23. Direct traffic after a disaster or when you come upon a traffic accident.

24. Use to “replace” a burned out taillight until you can get to a repair shop.

25. Use as pool toys to retrieve during a nighttime swim. They will sink. Remember you will want to calm children, and yourself, during a crisis so plan for some fun activities during these stressful times.

26. Create nighttime games. Cut open a glow stick after it has been activated. Pour a little of the liquid on a Frisbee for a game in the dark. An extended power outage after a weather disaster or failure of the power grid or power line down can quickly cause cabin fever so to get outside and have some fun!

27. Bubble fun. Pour a little of the activated liquid from a glow stick into a bottle of bubbles, glow in the dark bubbles. This is fun if you are in an evacuation center because the kids can’t hurt anyone but can still have fun and entertain others as well.

28. Light a path to your front door when having a party or for Halloween visitors. Since glow sticks are waterproof, they can be placed in a water bottle or other container or hung on a string.

29. Signal rescuers. Following a hurricane thousands were stranded in their homes. Rescuers were out in boats but with the power out victims had difficulty being seen. A glow stick being swung will be easily seen as an obvious call for help.


When purchasing glow stick be sure to get the appropriate size for the task. To keep children and pets in sight you will want four inch glow sticks or glow necklaces. To light an area or to signal you will need eight inch or larger. Always purchase glow sticks that will last eight hours or longer. White and yellow glow sticks will be seen the furthest and produce the most light.

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