Useful Household Items in an Emergency

There are a wide variety of things that you can use in an emergency situation. Many times, it depends on your creativity and ingenuity in creating a use out of something in order to help you survive.

Here are some ideas on everyday household items that you can use during an emergency! Let us know what you think and let us know what we missed. Comment below!

Make-up mirror
You can use a basic pocket-sized mirror to do a lot of things, reflect the sun to focus it in different areas, use it to signal airplanes or other vehicles.

When attempting to signal an airplane, you have a few options. You can puncture a hole in the middle of the mirror and look through the mirror in order to aim the beam of light. This method can be pretty tricky though because you don’t want to break the mirror.

An easier technique is to use the visual line of a stationary post to aim the beam. You’ll be able to see the reflection on a nearby tree and can line up the top of the tree with the airplane. Use the tree as a point of reference to direct you towards the airplane or helicopter. Figure 19-5 provides an example.

You can use shoelaces for a wide variety of things. Use the shoelaces to bundle sticks, attach tarps to your shelter or more. Check out this video on how to use your shoelaces to tie up your emergency shelter.

You can also use the shoelace to create animal traps or items.

Paper clip
You can use a paperclip to create a compass that can guide you to safety.

Unfold out the paperclip into as straight of a line as possible. You’ll then want to magnetize the paperclip by taking a magnet and rubbing the same direction multiple times. You will then need to balance the paperclip on a cork or piece of styrofoam. Float the cork or styrofoam on some still water and the magnetized paperclip should face north.

With a battery you can easily start a fire to keep yourself warm. You’ll need a battery, a staple or some steel wool.


If your car stalls in the middle of the wilderness you can use your lipstick to write SOS message on the top of your car or on nearby rocks.

The great thing is that most lipstick colors aren’t found in nature so they will stick out even more.

Most of us don’t carry a compass at all times. Here’s a quick trick to use your wristwatch as a compass.

Point the hour hand at the sun and create an imaginary line between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock section. That imaginary line will point you south.

What else?
What else have you used in emergency situations? Show off your ingenuity and creativity and comment below.

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