A flashlight and a battery operated radio.
When a well-meaning friend gave me both as gifts a few years back, I was incensed. It reminded of the time in college when a girlfriend’s farmer father showed up at school with a basket of tools for her. (Exactly what every young co-ed needs to survive dorm life.) I immediately deemed my friend’s gifts as “dumb” and something only a man would do, and tossed both in a drawer.
Three days post Hurricane Sandy I’m still without what I consider are the essentials: phone, electric, Internet, heat and pizza delivery. And, I’m now cursing the kind-hearted guy because he forgot to include batteries.