Life can be unpredictable, and accidents happen. Then there are wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters to contend with. Most people think that putting together an emergency kit is too expensive. They put it off until they’re forced to learn the hard way. Here are five items that are so cheap and potentially life-saving that there is no excuse not to own them.
It’s Not Just For Baking
Baking soda, at less than $1 per pound, can help extinguish a grease fire. When heated, baking soda releases carbon dioxide and starves the fire of oxygen. Be careful: it takes a large amount of baking soda. And never use water on a grease fire. If you use an extinguisher, make sure it is a Class B dry chemical type.
Trapped In A Vehicle
You see it in movies, but it can happen in real life. The car is submerging into water or bursting into flames. Your seatbelt is stuck, or you can’t hit the window hard enough to break it. It’s a horrifying way to go. Grab a car hammer for around $7. Its cone-shape easily breaks tempered glass, and the built-in blade will cut the seatbelt.
Clean Water Anywhere
A person can die within three to seven days from dehydration. A flooding or storm surge could contaminate the water supply, as could chemicals or biological contaminants. Every person in your household should have a LifeStraw, which is a personal water filter device that can remove bacteria, viruses, and parasites from a water source. They cost about $15.
Little Fire Starter
If you find yourself in a survival situation, it may be essential to start a fire. Greasy potato chips or cheese puffs will catch and burn long enough to get you started. Keep them in a waterproof bag or container. If you can’t stand the thought of wasting food, save up the lint from your dryer. It burns quite well, and nothing beats free!
A Stitch In Time
Keep super glue with your emergency supplies. At around $2 per tube, super glue can stand in for stitches, at least temporarily. Wash the wound and apply pressure to try to slow the bleeding. Close it with super glue and keep those platelets where they belong until you can reach medical care. Too weird? Liquid skin products are pretty similar but run from $4 to $12 per tube.