10 Must-Have Survival Tools (You Probably Already Own)
Is Your House Flooding? Grab the Phonebook
Floods are a common result of many natural disasters, and can even happen when you least expect it. Pipes break, septic systems malfunction, and before you know it, water can be flooding through your house in an instant.
This is when you should reach for your phonebook. No, you don't need the phonebook to call for help. You need the phonebook to absorb as much water as possible. Simply tear up the pages one by one, crumple them up, and toss them around the flooded area.
If the flood is coming from something broken in your home, you can use large clumps of torn up pages from the phonebook to try to slow down the flow of water. This will buy you time to call for help.
You Would Be Amazed by How Many Common Everyday Items Can Be Used in the Event of an Emergency
Power Outage? Grab the Engine Oil
Back up generators have become regular household items for millions of people. With natural disasters on the rise, power outages are a regular occurrence; however, many people don't realize the benefit engine oil can serve when you need to use your generator.
Those who own generators know that gas is the fuel that keeps the generator running, but many owners of generators don't realize that engine oil can greatly improve how well a generator functions.
Pouring engine oil into your generator will help it run more effectively, more efficiently and reduce wear and tear - making your generator last much longer than it would normally. The amount of engine oil needed depends on the size of your generator.
Duct Tape Is Extremely Versatile
Duct Tape: A Quick Fix for Almost Anything
Duct tape is the number one survival tool anyone could have on hand. Versatile and strong, duct tape was first used during WWII to keep moisture out of ammunition boxes, to repair guns, and to patch up holes in military vehicles caused by gunshots.
Since then, people have found thousands of uses for duct tape. Duct tape can be used in place of bandages to cover wounds, patch up holes, fix leaks and more. Just about the only thing you should never use duct tape for is to seal holes in your air ducts. It loses its adhesiveness pretty quickly from the heat that comes out of your air ducts.
Aluminum Foil: Almost as Versatile as Duct Tape
Aluminum foil has been around for almost 100 years, and it serves many purposes. You can use foil to wrap and cook food. You can use it to make a funnel. Aluminum foil can even work as a knife sharpener!
Aluminum foil can warm up rooms (wrap up plywood and place it behind a radiator to increase the amount of heat without increasing your heating costs). It can also be used to cool down rooms (just tape foil over a window, and it will deflect heat coming from the sun).
Rolled up aluminum foil can also work well to remove rust from pipes, generators and more.
Homeland Survival Guide
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No Power to Shower? Stock Up on Baby Wipes
This may not be the best survival tool, but if you are suffering from a prolonged power outage or are trapped somewhere away from home, you will be very grateful to have baby wipes at your disposable.
A quick and easy way to clean and sanitize open wounds, baby wipes also serve the purpose of make-shift showers when you have no other options.
WD-40: Duct Tape in a Can
Invented in 1953, WD-40 has the versatility of duct tape, in the convenient packaging of a spray bottle. Designed to prevent rust and corrosion, since 1953 people have found countless other uses for WD-40.
WD-40 can protect boots from winter weather, it can protect your vehicle from snow buildup on the windows, it can be used as a pest repellent, and it can even soothe bee stings.
A Map: No, Not One on Your Smartphone
Many people no longer utilize road maps as they did in the past. This is because of the ample supply of GPS applications available on almost every phone. The caveat of these handy apps is that they only work when you can get a signal.
If you are faced with a power outage and need to evacuate, your smartphone won't seem so smart. This is why it is always important to keep a road map in your car in case of emergencies.
Water Is a Crucial Item During a Catastrophe
Water, Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink
Whether you are in the "comfort" of your home and a disaster hits, or you in the middle of nowhere, your primary concern should be finding a safe water supply.
The recommendation from experts is that you store a minimum of three gallons of water per person at your home to prevent a water shortage during emergencies. Always boil the water before you use it for drinking purposes.
For those who are not at home and need to find a water supply, the best sources of water are springs, head-water streams, and morning dew.
No Power? Hope You Stocked Up on Flashlights
This one may be more obvious than other items listed, but no piece covering survival tools is complete without mentioning batteries and flashlights.
Batteries serve a wide range of uses in emergencies, supplying power when you need it most. Most importantly, batteries keep flashlights running when you have no other way to generate light.
It's helpful to not only have several flashlights available (ideally, stored in different parts of the house) as well as different types of batteries.
Most People Are NOT Prepared for an Emergency: Don't Let Yourself Be One of Them!
When Disaster Strikes, Cash Is King
Cold Hard Cash
Did you know that ATM machines were around for over a decade before they became popular? Designed in the 60s, when the ATM machine was first released to the public they were hardly ever used because people didn't trust this new technology to protect their private information.
It wasn't until a major blizzard hit New York City, paralyzing the metropolitan area, that ATM machines began to gain popularity. People had no ability to access cash except for the ATM machines. The lack of supply elsewhere instantly created a huge demand for ATMs, and after the blizzard, the fear that had prevented the public from using them had disappeared.
People have become so dependent on credit cards and debit cards that many don't even carry real cash with them anymore. However, if an emergency arises, cold hard cash is going to be the first on your list of items you will need.
This is why it is always a good idea to keep a fair amount of cash in an envelope just for emergencies.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal