When most people think of an emergency, they think of a natural disaster. This disaster might be a tsunami, an earthquake of major proportions, or a hurricane. However, everyday weather events or civil unrest can lead to extended service disruption. A person needs to have an emergency kit for situations such as these. What items should be included in a kit for the optimal level of protection?
In 2009, writer William R. Forstchen released a book called One Second After. This book detailed the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse striking America’s infrastructure. Many people assumed this was a science fiction novel. However, legislators have warned a catastrophe of this type could occur and the effects could be felt for years, if not decades.
In the book, people begin looting. They don’t restrict themselves to cities either. Many rioters head to the country for food and supplies they cannot get elsewhere. The people in the country are forced to defend themselves in the book. Nevertheless, doing so is difficult when they don’t know the intruders are coming. Night goggles, such as those made by AGM Global Vision, would help in situations like this or during any civil unrest.
Most people don’t think to include aluminum foil in their emergency kit, but this standard household item has many uses during a crisis. For example, wrapping aluminum foil around a fishing hook or weight helps attract more fish. The foil can be used to keep items dry, and you can cook a meal over hot coals by wrapping the food in foil and placing it on the coals.
Use foil to collect rainwater. Make a pan using the foil, and create the largest surface area possible to collect more water. Once you collect the water, dig a hole in the ground and place the foil in this hole. Place rocks in a fire before transferring them to the foil. The heat from the rocks will boil the water rapidly.
Aluminum foil might seem like an unnecessary item for an emergency kit. It takes up valuable space that could be used for other items. However, these are only a few of the countless ways it can be used in a crisis. Other uses for aluminum foil can be found here. Furthermore, the foil can be used in most circumstances, allowing one or two rolls to go a long way.
Always carry a roll of duct tape, as it can be used for many things. Patch a hole in a tent, or twist the tape to make a rope. If you forgot to pack a clothesline, create one with the help of this handy product. You can also use the tape to close your tent and ensure unwanted intruders don’t make their way in easily. Nobody wants to wake up and find they have an unwanted guest in their tent or sleeping bag. Sadly, this critter may make you ill, and medical care is often hard to come by in a crisis. When closing off the tent, hang one or two pieces of duct tape inside. If flies make their way into the tent, the tape serves as homemade fly paper.
Use the tape to repair any items that break. Countless people don’t know they can fix a water bottle with this item. Make sure the bottle is dry before adding the tape for a secure hold. Once the water bottle has been fixed, grab the tape and mend a broken fishing or tent pole. It can even be used to wrap a sprained wrist or make butterfly bandages.
Men and women don’t turn to duct tape to mend their clothing or shoes under normal circumstances. When disaster strikes, the tape may be used to do exactly this. Turn the clothing inside out and put the tape over the ripped area. Many times, you can’t even tell there is any damage. Patch a hole in a pair of boots with the tape to keep water out and warmth in. Even if the boots don’t have any damage, you can insulate them by placing duct tape on the insoles. Have the shiny side up to help it reflect warmth.
Binoculars are another item that should be standard in every emergency kit. They are of great benefit when you must relocate, as they allow you to see blocked roadways and other obstacles that may interfere with your ability to evacuate quickly. In addition, the binoculars help you track other members of your party if you must separate.
They are also of great help during the day for spotting people who may be entering your property for nefarious purposes. You will not need to be close to them to see if they plan to harm you, your loved ones, or your property. You can remain at a safe distance while gathering the information you need to take action.
In an emergency, you may need to find food for the family. Hunters often turn to binoculars to locate their prey, and you can do the same. With the help of binoculars, spotting small animals that otherwise might remain hidden becomes easier. These same binoculars will help you locate a school of fish or spot a bear that you need to avoid in your search for something to eat.
Clothesline and Clothespins
A clothesline and clothespins serve multiple purposes. You can use them to do laundry when your dryer isn’t working. Clothespins are helpful when constructing a shelter following a disaster or use them to put up a windbreak to protect items in high winds. Use the clothesline as rope in a pinch, and the clothespins are helpful for many things other than hanging clothes.
Have family members attach a clothespin to any stains on their clothing, so you can treat the stains before washing the clothes. The same clothespins can also be used to identify clothing that needs to be mended. When you are in the midst of an emergency, getting to these tasks might not be a priority. Having the clothespin as a reminder ensures they don’t get overlooked when you do find the time for these tasks.
Emergency flares allow you to attract attention when help is needed. You may have flares in your car, but it never hurts to have a set in your crisis kit. If you can call first responders, use the flares to pinpoint your location when they come to help. They are visible in fog and low-light conditions, and aircraft can spot them from a distance.
However, you must choose flares carefully to ensure they do the desired job. Avoid small tactical flares, as aircraft may not see them. Furthermore, they aren’t as effective in bad weather. Take care when using flares in dry conditions, as they can spark fires. Also, invest in rocket parachute or multi-star flares, as handheld flares have limited use. You want to ensure the flares will attract the attention of those in a position to help you.
The same flares help when you need light and other sources aren’t available. With their help, you can avoid hazards. Use them to deter wildlife and people who wish to do you harm. The smoke emitted from a flare makes it difficult for them to see you, and the bright glare given off by flares may leave them unable to see anything in the area. Remember, they may also blind you or make it difficult to see what is in the immediate area. Take this into consideration when using the flares so problems don’t develop.
You never know what hazards you might encounter in an emergency. Many people find they need to defend themselves, particularly when they enter an area during a period of civil unrest without knowing they are putting themselves in a dangerous situation. Pepper spray is a form of non-lethal self-defense ideal for situations like this. You can use the spray and get away quickly. As the spray works from three to ten feet away, you can usually remain out of arm’s reach of the assailant.
Before using the spray, practice. The last thing you want to do is spray yourself unintentionally. While the spray may not be directed at you, it can blow back in your face. Know how to use it and keep it ready at all times. An attack can happen anytime, even when there is no civil unrest. By having it on you, it can be used regardless of the situation if you feel threatened. However, know the local laws before purchasing, as these sprays are illegal in certain areas.
Other items might be of benefit in an emergency, such as a bulletproof vest or full-face gas mask. Body armor might even be needed in certain situations. Consider the most likely risks in your area and prepare accordingly. However, this doesn’t mean that other threats should be ignored completely. Nobody can predict what the future holds. By preparing for any eventuality, you will be able to remain calm and collected regardless of what happens, allowing for the best outcome.