Of course, you want to be mentally prepared for such things; panic is definitely not the best way to react to an emergency. That’s where planning ahead and having the tools you need already on hand can really help. Having the things you need available and within relatively easy reach can help you to keep calm, focus, and otherwise act efficiently when dealing with any kind of emergency situation.
There are some basic safety tools you should always try to have on hand to manage a variety of problems: emergency phone numbers stored on your cell phone, smoke/carbon monoxide detector, flashlight, etc. But then there are other specific items that can be helpful based on your actual location and unique situation.
To help you and your family become safer wherever you are, here are our recommendations to cover your bases at home, in your car, or when you’re otherwise out-and-about.
Safety Tools at Home
Your home is your sanctuary, your safe place. In order to keep it that way, you should always aim to have the following items on hand:
- Portable light sources. If the power goes out in your home, you need to have a way to see at night without plug-in electricity. Flashlights, lanterns, and candles with matches and fully charged batteries will help you move safely through a dark house.
- Fire extinguisher. You should have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, especially in spaces most prone to a fire. Then, if a fire breaks out, someone should to be able to get to an extinguisher quickly. Consider one on each floor of your home, in the kitchen, in the basement, and/or in the garage.
- Fire escape ladder. If you live in a multi-level home, a fire escape ladder can help get any occupants trapped by smoke or fire out to safety through an upstairs window.
- First aid kit. Minor burns, cuts and scrapes are common, as well as colds, allergies, etc. To treat these minor afflictions, a kit containing antiseptics, bandages, painkillers, a thermometer, tweezers, and other personal medical tools should be well-stocked and easily accessible.
Tools in the Car
Many of the same items you use for safety in your home can also apply to your car. But there are a few other car-specific safety tools to consider as well, including:
- Escape tool. If for some reason you become trapped inside your vehicle, an escape tool can help you break a window to get out. Keep it within easy reach in the glove compartment or center console.
- Jumper cables. It could be your car’s battery that’s dead or someone else’s. Either way, having jumper cables already on hand means you won’t necessarily have to wait for a tow truck or AAA to get it going again.
- Emergency roadside kit. Especially when you’re travelling in a more remote location, you should have some essentials ready in case your car breaks down. A car emergency kit containing road flares, water, blankets, non-perishable food, fire extinguisher, spare tire, jack, and so on can help you to either fix your issue or at least sustain yourself until help arrives.
Tools Out in Public
The following portable items can be especially helpful when you’re out somewhere by yourself:
- Pepper spray. Using pepper spray allows you to defend yourself against a possible attacker from a short distance and without lethal force, something that cannot be guaranteed with other weapons like a knife or gun.
- Alarm/whistle. A personal alarm or whistle attached to your belt or key chain can help to draw attention to your situation. Such attention can be a great deterrent for would-be attackers.
- Cell phone. While, of course, enabling any calls for help, a cell phone can also be a deterrent for trouble. Talking to someone on the phone can, at times, be as effective as being with an actual group of people.
Having such items in your safety toolkit is a great start to an overall safety regimen both inside and out of the home. Our last bit of advice in this regard? Make sure you and everyone in your family actually know how to use these tools. That can help you all to keep cooler heads in case of an emergency.
For more information about safety tools and other issues, be sure to read all the articles on the subject on the PeopleFinders blog.
Image attribution: Roger Brown Photography – www.shutterstock.com