Whether it’s flooding, fire, earthquake, blackout, or civil unrest, disruptions that restrict your access to essential resources are always going to be a threat to your life. While you can stock up on a wide range of traditional emergency supplies, such as solar cookers, first aid kits, solar-powered phone chargers, and a supply of nonperishable foods, there are a few other items to consider.
Specifically, household items.
From magazines to dental floss, traditional household items can also come in handy during times of crisis, whether you originally expect them to or not. Finding multiple uses for one item is a good mentality to have if you want to make sure you and your family will come out safely on the other side of a disaster.
In this post, I’m sharing 12 items that could save your life in an emergency situation. Now, the items on this list may surprise you, but they may very well be the items you need to survive a crisis should it strike. As you read, think about where these items are located in your home, and remember them in case the day comes when you’ll need to use them...
#1: Magazines and Books
A lot of us have endless stacks of old magazines around our house, as well as an impressive collection of books. You can rip out the pages of books and magazines and use them as kindling when starting a fire, or burn a few at a time for fuel. Should a crisis go from bad to worse, if you needed to, you could rip out the pages and use them as toilet paper. Additionally, you can cut into a thick book to create a hiding place to store valuables.
#2: Cable Ties
Cable ties are one of the best multiuse items out there. The benefits and uses are numerous--for example, you can use them for…
- Securing sticks and tarps together for shelter in the wild.
- Attaching additional items to your bug-out bag.
- Tying vines on plants when gardening.
- Handcuffing a dangerous individual.
- Marking your trail
- Making a splint.
#3: Safety Pins
Like zip ties, safety pins are handy and easily transportable. From crafting a sling and fixing ripped clothing to fishing and defending yourself, they have a multitude of uses. Along with the safety pins, you’ll want to have a supply of cloth so you can craft and fashion various items, shelters, and bandaging.
#4: Perfume Cards
Yes, I’m completely serious with this one. And no, I don’t expect you to be sampling perfume in times of crisis. These little perfume sample cards found at cosmetics and department stores can actually be used to start a fire because they contain alcohol and can be used as tinder. Whether making food or signaling for help, your ability to make a fire and keep it going will be a game changer in your pursuit of survival.
Members of the military may be familiar with this one, as pantyhose have been used in the past under servicemen and women’s socks to prevent blisters and serve a wide variety of other useful purposes. For example, you can also use pantyhose to…
- Craft a mosquito net.
- Ward off leeches, chiggers, and ticks.
- Prevent blisters and insulate your feet from the cold.
- Secure a bandage, make a sling, and other first aid necessities.
Chewing gum’s uses extend beyond simply a way to freshen your breath or de-stress (in fact, it’s scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve mental alertness). It can also be used to bind broken items back together temporarily, as bait for catfish when combined with sugar, and as a barter item.
#7: Dental Floss
Obviously, maintaining good oral hygiene is always important. However, there are hundreds of ways that dental floss may save you when you’re in a pinch, and it all comes down to cordage. You can use dental floss to…
- Construct a shelter.
- Make weapons or a hunting spear--simply lash a knife to a stick.
- Sew ripped clothing.
- Keep food airtight and tie up bags.
- Hang wet clothes.
Essentially, it’s smart to keep containers of dental floss in your bug-out bag, car, home, and other locations. You never know when you’ll need an extra source of cordage!
A wheelbarrow is a bit less surprising as a survival item. It’s an easy way to transport drinkable water, food from your garden, or firewood. Save your back the trouble and invest in a wheelbarrow sooner rather than later.
#9: Cardboard Rolls and Lint
As mentioned, starting a fire when your electricity has gone out is an essential skill for any preparedness-minded individual. And cardboard rolls from your toilet paper and paper towel supply, combined with lint, will make the fire-starting process a whole lot easier. Stuff the roll with lint and finish it off by wrapping it in brown craft paper. Voila--you’ll have an effective tinder for a firestarter in your hearth.
#10: Cat Litter
You may not own a cat, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use some cat litter in your supply of survival items. Cat litter can be used as a material to keep pesky rodents out of your grains and canned goods supply. It’s also a major help when your car gets stuck in snowy slush--simply pour it in the path of your wheel, and you’ll have traction in no time!
#11: Mason Jars
If you haven’t yet dived into the world of canning and preserving food, it’s better late than never. Save your mason jars and glass bottles to store your preserved items. Additionally, you can use them to store sauces and juices you may make while access to a grocery store is limited or hindered.
#12: Tampons and Pads
If you or a family member happens to have a supply of tampons and pads handy, lucky you. Aside from their intended purpose, they can be used to…
- Start a fire, as a source of tinder.
- Stop bleeding in wounds. They are a terrific sterile dressing!
- Craft a cold compress for aches, pains, and other injuries.
- Exchange in a barter situation.
There you have it: A full 12 items you may not have expected to come in handy during a crisis. I encourage you to take the time now to stock up on supplies--the expected and unexpected--before it’s too late.
Please add to our list with our unusual household items in the comments below.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply