When you think of a bottle of alcohol, enjoying a cocktail with friends at a party or sipping a glass on the rocks after a long day of work may come to mind. Although libations are a nice addition to good times spent with friends, I’d like to let you in on a little-known secret that could mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.
Let’s say that your area is ravaged by a category 4 hurricane…
Or, during a hike in a national park, you take a wrong turn and can’t find your way back to your starting point…
Or civil unrest brings about looting and violence…
Whatever the specifics may be, you’ll want to be prepared to face the worst. And, no, that doesn’t mean having the obvious suspects like a flashlight and nonperishable foods. Whether serving as an antiseptic, starting a fire, or even being used as a weapon for self-defense, alcohol is a multifunctional item that can save your life.
Adding alcohol to your current emergency supply arsenal could mean the difference between life and death. I’ll explain and share six uses for alcohol in the case of an emergency. Read on...I promise it will be worth your time.
#1: Alcohol Disinfects Wounds.
Perhaps you’ve sustained unexpected injuries while trying to access safety. In that case, alcohol can be a great topical antiseptic.
It’s important to note which kind of alcohol can be used, depending upon the situation. Anything above 40% can be used to disinfect wounds for first aid purposes, and anything above 60% can be used as surgical alcohol. The higher the proof, the better.
#2: Alcohol Can Be Used as a Barter Item.
Whether it be a financial collapse or a lack of access to resources during a natural disaster, there are times when our methods of value exchange make a shift. Instead of using paper money, certain items become forms of currency.
That’s why, in addition to stocking up on canned foods, ammo, and precious metals, it’s beneficial to have other items that can be valuable for barter situations. Alcohol is one such item that can come in handy if you need to access other important life-saving items, whether they be medicine, food, or fuel.
#3: Alcohol Can Aid in Starting a Fire.
Anything alcohol that is over 80 proof is highly flammable and will be able to catch a flame. It can help fuel a lamp or act as a fire accelerant. For example, you can use whiskey to make wood more flammable.
If a disaster occurs and you’re without electricity, or if you’re stranded in the woods, all you need is a little whiskey, and you’ll have yourself a nice warm fire in no time.
Whiskey-soak the wood to the core (in damp conditions, aim to use pine, spruce, fir, or mesquite), then wait a few minutes so the vapors disperse, minimizing the risk of a fireball. From there--light away!
#4: Alcohol Can Be Used as a Solvent.
Whether they be guns, engines, or electronic components, there are a range of important survival tools that can rust over time. However, if you’re stocked up on alcohol, you automatically have an effective solvent for rust prevention.
Simply use a cloth and whiskey to regularly clean these tools. You’ll have one less thing to worry about in situations where you need to preserve your weapons, tools, or vehicles.
#5: Alcohol Can Treat a Range of Health Issues.
Beyond treating or preventing simple infections mentioned above, alcohol can be used in a variety of other health-related situations. For example…
- Whiskey mixed with honey can alleviate a sore throat, and a smaller dose can work wonders if you need to clear up your sinuses. This can come in handy if you’re dealing with cold temperatures and trying to ward off colds.
- Alcohol can be used to treat swimmer’s ear.
- You can generally minimize your risk of blood clots and prevent strokes by consuming (a reasonable serving of) whiskey.
- You can relieve poison ivy and bug bites by rubbing some alcohol on the affected area.
- Consuming alcohol can be an effective pain-killing solution.
- If you have a cold, you can use the steam from a warm alcoholic drink (such as a hot toddy) to dilate the blood vessels in your nose and clear out mucus. Here’s a recipe for a hot toddy:
- 1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon
- 1 tablespoon mild honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup boiling-hot water
#6: Alcohol Can Be Used as a Weapon.
During times of desperation and scarcity, it’s every person or family on their own. You never know how others will react in times of need, and, therefore, it’s important to be armed against potential violent situations.
A high-proof bottle of alcohol can be used as the flammable substance in a bottle for a Molotov cocktail. Although we all pray that we will never be in a position to use one--it can be handy to know how to construct a Molotov cocktail. Many, throughout history, have used alcohol in this way, and knowledge on how to do that is pretty commonly known.
You can always break the bottle of alcohol and use the pieces of glass as a weapon. Use caution so you don’t injure yourself in the process!
Alcohol tends to have a long shelf life--and the higher the alcohol proof, the further away the expiration of the alcohol tends to be. Fortunately, this means it will maintain its disinfecting and flammable properties for a longer period of time.
If you and your family find yourselves in a long-lasting, dire circumstance after a natural disaster, or are stranded off the grid, knowing this will give you peace of mind.
Waiting to prepare and being too late can mean the difference between life and death.
Most disasters and emergencies happen when you least expect them. Don’t be that person who regrets not taking the appropriate steps to prepare for worst-case scenarios.
They’re more likely to happen than you may think.
Please add to our list with your uses for alcohol in the comments below.
Stay alert, and have a safe weekend, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply