Emergency Preparedness Tips & Tricks

Crayon as a Candle

Did you know a crayon can burn like a candle for up to 30 minutes?

Did you know that there are hundreds of ordinary everyday household items that have several uses other than what they were made for? In emergency situations these items could help make some very uncomfortable situations very comfortable.

For example:
“Crayola Brand Crayons” can be lit with a match or lighter and stood upright, will burn for a pretty good length of time and be substitute for a candle.

Paracord Bracelets: contain about 6-8 feet of rope that will hold 550 pounds when un-braided, and when the inner strands are pulled out and tied together you will have about 56 feet of nylon string.

Paracord bracelets

Paracord bracelets come in handy and are now becoming fashionable.

Clay Pots, and their water saucers, a candle, and some washers, can be fashioned to make a heater: Place the candle on the saucer, stack enough washers to keep the inverted pot above the edge of the saucer, light the candle, place the pot over the candle and let the candle heat the pot. The radiated pot will give off enough heat to keep your hands warm and then some. Several of these placed around a small room will take the chill away. I will not keep you from freezing, but will warm you enough safely to keep your spirits up, plus you can warm water with it.

Malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever – mosquitoes can spread these dangerous diseases all too quickly in emergency situations. These plants are natural insect repellents (plant them in containers for portable protection!). Citronella geranium, Marigold “Lemon Gem”, Lemon grass, Catnip, Ageratum “Artist Purple”, Lemon Thyme.


There are several plants you can put in your garden that naturally repel mosquitos!

Do me a favor for the next five minutes. Try to forget everything you know about tampons. I know, it’s hard. But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below, and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).

All kidding aside, a tampon really does have a ton of uses to a survivor. One could even argue for including a couple in your survival kit. Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.

Before I get into the details of this post, a brief history of the tampon might surprise you.

The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food & Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device. The word “tampon” is a derivative of the French word tapon which means “a little plug or stopper.” My research indicates that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug bullet holes. There are even accounts of tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare. A friend of mine told me that it’s not uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits. They are also the perfect product for a bloody nose. There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.

Regardless of intended use, the common tampon has many practical survival uses. I’ve highlighted a few survival uses below

Tampons as a Survival Tool

Tampons were originally designed as survival tools

Survival Use #1: Medical Bandage
Survival Use #2: Crude Water Filter
Survival Use #3: Fire Tinder
Survival Use #4: Crude Survival Straw Filter
Survival Use #5: Wick for Improvised Candle
Survival Use #6: Cordage
Survival Use #7: Blow Dart Fletching
Survival Use #8: Blow Tube for Coal Burning Containers
Survival Use #9: Waterproof Match & Fire Tinder Case
Survival Use #10: Survival Fishing Bobber

I am a huge fan of multi-functional products that can serve double or even triple survival duty. For the size, weight, and cost, a tampon has an impressive list of survival functions. If nothing else, this post is another lesson in the importance of looking at everyday products through the eyes of a survivalist. Creativity and innovation are critical.

These and many other tips-n-tricks will be coming in future articles as well as other important information you need to know to be prepared for both man-made and natural disasters that you may encounter.

Remember, in an Emergency Situation, it’s not what you don’t have on hand that counts, but what you do have and what you do with it that counts. Be innovative and creative.