Friday, October 23, 2009

What's Beside Your Bed?

In any kind of disaster that might destroy your home, be it earthquake, hurricane, tornado, landslide, or what have you, there are a few pieces of safety equipment you should have near your bed. The reason to keep these items near your bed is so you can have immediate access to them if the crisis hits in the middle of the night. You don't want to have to go hunting for these things in the dark when your world is coming unglued at the seams.
  • First, sturdy shoes. If you have any reason to believe there is broken glass or any other type of debris on the floor, do not put your feet down until they are inside sturdy shoes that can protect against nail penetration, etc. Injured feet will not only invite infection, but will also disable you from being able to carry on with survival tasks. 
  • Heavy leather gloves. If you need to claw your way out of a collapsed structure, these will protect your hands. 
  • A hard hat. I know, sounds weird. But it's actually not a bad idea to be able to protect your noggin when things start falling down. Doesn't have to be an industrial-looking hat — a bicycle helmet will do nicely. 
  • Safety glasses or goggles. If you're blinded by dust or flying debris getting in your eyes, you won't be able to save yourself or anyone else. A lightweight pair of swim goggles will work, and they don't take up much space. 
  • A flashlight. You want to be able to reach and grab a flashlight (loaded with fully-charged batteries) without having to get out of bed to find it. If it is a "headlamp" type, so much the better, because that leaves your hands free to do whatever is necessary to get yourself and your family to safety. 
  • A fire extinguisher. I know, this sounds a bit over the top, but what if you awaken to discover that your house is in flames and the only extinguisher is in the kitchen, and you can't get to it? You're toast — literally! Keep an extinguisher within reach so you can fight your way out of a burning room  if necessary. 
  • A cell phone (fully charged). You might awaken to noises in your house that don't belong there. Home invasion by burglars (or worse) might involve the cutting of your home's telephone lines, leaving you unable to call 9-1-1 for help. Even if it's not a home invasion, but just your run of the mill disaster that has torn everything up and left you injured, your landline might be dead and you might be able to use the cell phone to summon assistance. 

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