Your brain is your most potent weapon. When caught in an emergency situation, improvising with things that are readily available around you could save your life.
Bright Side brings you 10 everyday items that can save your life should an emergency situation ever arise.
Chewing gum fire starter
Cut a thin strip of the gum wrapper. Fold the strip in half and cut diagonally across the folded strip. When you unfold the strip, you should have a narrow spot at the center. Hold the ends of the strip to the positive and negative ends of a battery. Make sure the metallic side of the strip touches the battery, not the paper side. And voila! You will have a flame.
Note: This method works only with wrappers that have a metallic side. A few kinds of gum with metallic wrappers are ’Wrigley’s 5′ and ’Extra.’
Caution: Playing with fire can be dangerous, be careful.
Bra cup debris mask
When you are in an emergency situation like being caught up in a raging fire, you could face serious respiratory problems as a result of breathing in smoke, toxic ash, pulverized concrete, particles, and dust. But we have an easy solution. The cup of a bra can be used as a debris mask. Most are perfectly sized to cover the nose and mouth, and the straps can be reworked to tie around the head for hands-free use.
You can also purchase a special bra that was created specifically to act as a gas mask. It unsnaps into 2 so that you can also help someone else in need and comes equipped with a radiation sensor.
Caution: It is always better to use a dedicated gas mask which can provide protection from both gaseous and particulate toxic materials.
Ice to start a fire
Going outdoors during the winter is fun. But conditions can grow dangerous quickly if you get exposed to plummeting temperatures and gusting winds. Having a fire to keep yourself warm is paramount in this case and you can start one using ice. Find the clearest ice you can lay your hands on. Carve out a big chunk of it. Then, using the warmth of your palms melt it into a smooth round lens. Use this lens as a magnifying glass to light the fire.
Advice: This method will prove useful only if you happen to find clear ice and sunshine. It is better to carry match sticks or lighters to serve your fire needs. Being prepared is essential to survival.
Tinfoil to keep yourself warm
Keeping yourself warm and preserving body heat is essential to survive a cold night. You can do so by wrapping yourself up with tin foil. The reflective surface of the foil will reflect your own body heat toward you and prevent it from escaping, thus keeping you warm.
Caution: Tin foil is prone to tearing easily, handle with care.
Feminine hygiene products
Sanitary napkins are made from Cellucotton which, during World War I, was developed in the US to be used as surgical cotton. So it should come as no surprise that today sanitary napkins can be used for dressing a wound. Cellucotton is 5 times as absorbent as cotton bandages.
Toothpaste to get rid of the itch caused by insect bites.
Toothpaste can be used to treat skin irritations caused by bug bites. In emergency situations, it can also be used to treat athlete’s foot and even blisters. Toothpaste can stop itching and reduce swelling when applied topically. For blisters, apply it over the blister before going to bed. It will dry up the blister while you sleep. It also cools and soothes minor burns if applied immediately after they happen.
Caution: Use toothpaste to treat only minor burns. For severe burns using toothpaste can do more harm than good.
T-shirt to filter water
There are many ways to filter water if you get stuck in an emergency situation and have access to water that is undrinkable. Fill one container with the murky water. Cut a strip of clean cloth from your t-shirt and dip one end of the cloth in the murky water and put the other end into an empty container where you want to gather the filtered water. Remember to keep the container with the dirty water at a higher level than the other container. After some time you will see clear water dripping into the empty container.
Caution: After you get the clear water, remember to boil it before drinking.
Fork as a weapon
Most of us have access to a fork at home and also while we travel. The pointed edges of a fork can be used to fight back against a wild animal that might be trying to attack you or to scare off some stranger trying to get too close and harm you.
Belt to stop a door from opening
Shootings have become increasingly common lately. In case of a shooting, it is recommended that you enter a secure room, bolt the entrance, lie low, and wait for help. If you don’t have furniture to keep the door closed, you can use your belt to secure the hinges. It will keep the door securely closed.
Caution: It works only if your door has hinges as shown in the photograph.
Shoelace to cut a zip tie
If you ever get kidnapped and your hands are tied using a zip tie, you can free yourself from the restraint using your shoelaces. We will teach you how. Untie your shoelaces and tie them together using a strong knot. Move your hands, and place the zip tie under the shoelaces. Now start kicking your legs from side to side to create traction against the plastic zip tie. The zip tie will soon break and you will be free.
Caution: When you find your hands tied, your natural instinct will be to try to twist and wriggle your wrists out of the plastic strips, but this will only cause pain and cut your skin, usually worsening the situation.
What other items do you think could be improvised to create life-saving tools? Let us know in the comments.