No matter how prepared you are, survival is really about making the most of what you have on hand. Did you know there are many items sitting around your house that can protect you, no matter what kind of catastrophe strikes?
If this list is any indication, women may be the ones to stick closest to since they have some of the most useful items. If you aren’t one, hopefully, you will know one since they likely will have the best multi-purpose goods when the SHTF.
Household Items To Use When Disaster Strikes
No matter what you have in your storehouse, supplies can run out or you may not have prepared for every eventuality. If you are in a pinch, here are some household items that can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation.
1. Tampons and Pads
These two have a variety of uses. Pads are obviously an excellent way to staunch blood if someone suffers a serious wound, but they are also a great way to filter water. Tampons can do a lot of the same work. They can be used to filter water when they are fluffed out, and the string makes an excellent wick. They can both be used for tinder as well.
2. Dried Kitchen Sponges
These sponges — like those you get at William-Sonoma — were the inspiration for U.S. Military’s tool, XStat, which works similar to a fix-a-flat. Its purpose was to stop gunshot and shrapnel wounds from bleeding out. Since XStat isn’t lying around the house, those super-compressed sponges can be used to do the same thing, though it may take a little finesse without the syringe.
Snip a bra down the middle front and you have two fairly reasonable particulate filters that can be used as facemasks. You can even use the straps to tie it around the face for hand-free use. Underwire could also come in handy when metal becomes a need, the elastic straps make useful slings and, if the bras are padded, the padding can be used for tinder.
4. Air Compressor
Air compressors will be great to have on hand in a survival situation for many reasons. Perhaps one of the most crucial is for skinning meat after a kill. Cut a small hole in the thigh of a deer you have killed and hung, insert the air compressor nozzle, and voila, the skin becomes detached from the meat.
5. Canned Tuna
No matter the situation, wasting food isn’t a good idea. Some foods, however, are packaged in such a way that also makes them good for survival. Not much can beat canned tuna when the SHTF since it can be used as a food source and an oil lamp.
Make sure it’s oil-packed tuna, then stab a hole in the top. Use the tampon string or some newspaper as a wick and shove it into the hole, leaving about a ½” exposed. Give the oil time to soak to the wick, then light it. A can of oil-packed tuna will burn for about two hours, and the fish is still good for eating after.
Chapstick can be used to protect lips, faces and hands against the elements in a survival situation, but it may be more important as a candle. Use wire from a bra to work the tampon-wick into the top of the chapstick. Light it up, and continue to push the chapstick up to keep the tube from melting. It should work as a candle for about two hours. Lip balm in a can works well for this, too.
Because it can increase dehydration, most preppers don’t think to stockpile alcohol, but it can mean the difference between life and death in some situations. It’s a disinfectant, so it can be used to treat wounds and calm the injured person down. Among other uses, it can:
- Clean a gun
- Cook an egg
- Kill bacteria and mold
- Start a fire
8. Dental Floss
More than for your mouth’s hygiene, dental floss has an unending list of uses. It can suture a wound, seal pipes, kill a chicken, be used as a fishing line and to fix broken eyeglasses. In any situation where you might need string it can be handy, but its portability and strength make it effective beyond even that.
9. Coffee Filters and Coffee Grounds
Prepping sometimes involves taking what no longer has traditional use and using it for survival. Coffee filters can filter water and be used as tinder, but coffee grounds are just as important. Coffee grounds can melt ice, repel pests and be used as fertilizer.
You can now stop throwing away pantyhose after you get a run. Add them to your stockpile because they have myriad uses. They can be used to carry things, prevent blisters, as mosquito netting, to filter water and to sprout seeds.
The Final Word
Alongside the traditional items to stockpile like salt, water, and canned goods, consider keeping a few of these items on hand. What may seem like common items that get you through your day can also help you survive a crisis. The key to survival is thinking ahead, so look beyond the prescribed use of everyday items in your home and prepare today for anything that could happen tomorrow.
Author Bio: Bobbi Peterson loves writing and regularly posts on her blog Living Life Green. She’s also a freelance writer, green living advocate and environmentalist. You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter.
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to items mentioned in today’s article as well as other personal favorites.
Norpro Natural Pop-Up Sponges: I used to get these sponges at Williams Sonoma but this set of 12 a better value and a lot more convenient.
GUM Butlerweave Floss Mint Waxed, 200yds (Pack of 6): This, by far, is the best dental floss ever. I have been so frustrated by floss that shreds or get stuck in my teeth that I was ready to try anything. This works plus it is value priced. These are 200-yard rolls – huge – and you get six for about $16.
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