If a crisis situation chases us out of our homes, even temporarily, we’ll be better off than most people if we’ve prepared a bug-out bag with non-perishable food and other essential items, as well as a water purifier.
But if we’re forced to stay away from our homes for an extended period of time, we will also benefit greatly by having certain tools in our vehicles. In fact, those tools could make the difference between life and death.
Let’s take a look at 12 of the most important ones:
Survival Knife – This self-reliance tool is practical in many situations and could keep you alive if things turn ugly. It should be sturdy and lightweight, with a single fixed blade. Plan on spending a couple hundred dollars on this item.
Multi-Tool – A must-have in your survival supplies, but also in your emergency car survival kit. Most multi-tools will contain pliers, folding knife, small saw, metal file, hole punch, screwdriver, wood saw, wire cutter and even a scissors. They range in price from $15 to $130.
Hatchet– Make sure you pick something that’s lightweight and versatile. Expert campers and wilderness survival experts recommend hatchets over axes. There are many uses for this dependable tool. Test the sharpness before adding to your emergency supplies and make sure it includes a sheath.
Fire Starter Kit – In an emergency situation, you’ll want the ability to quickly produce fire not just for heat but also to aid in emergency meal preparation. You can purchase an emergency fire kit or create your own. Either way, make sure it’s waterproof, easy to carry and includes a light for making fire in the dark.
Emergency Radio – There are two things you’ll do first in a catastrophe. Seek safety and then seek information. Emergency radios come in all shapes and sizes. Most people will only need a radio to hear NOAA alerts and other warnings. Before you spend a lot of money on two-way or shortwave radios, consider whether or not you’ll need them.
Stainless Steel Canteen – Get one with a screw-on lid, designed for hiking. It will carry water and can also be used to boil and/or purify water for drinking from questionable sources.
Signaling Equipment – Signaling devices such as flares and glow sticks should be included in an emergency kit. A loud whistle is also recommended, as you never know when you might end up trapped during a disaster. A high-pitched whistle is far more likely to catch someone’s attention and break through background noise.
Compass – With so many options from which to choose, make sure you have a small and very durable compass and aren’t planning on relying solely on GPS. The most important aspect is to possess the knowledge on how to use whichever compass you purchase. Practice is key.
Emergency Blanket – A durable, compact and lightweight emergency survival blanket will reflect heat back to your body, but also protect you from the elements and possibly serve as shelter. Include several as they are a necessity in all types of emergency situations.
Headlamp– Not having light during an emergency can be frustrating, demoralizing and most importantly, dangerous. This is why you should have multiple light sources in your emergency supplies. Hopefully you already have emergency candles, high-powered LED flashlights and a lantern in your survival supplies, but include a headlamp as well.
Duct Tape – This is an inexpensive addition that will come in handy in many instances. This is the time to channel your inner MacGyver and realize just how handy duct tape can be during an emergency. You can seal doors and windows, and even safely remove glass shards from broken windows.
Knowledge – Lastly, the most important self-reliance tool to have is your personal survival knowledge. The more you know about surviving during emergency conditions and how to properly use your survival supplies, the more likely you are to stay alive.