9 things to keep in your bag that could save a life

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERA sanitary pad could save your life.

With hurricane season in full swing and blizzard season on its way, it’s important to be prepared in case disaster strikes.

Here are nine everyday items you might already have in your bag that could save a life.

A whistle

A whistle’s high-pitched sound can be heard from far away, making it a crucial tool to alert rescuers of one’s location in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. It’s also useful for walking alone at night to scare off attackers or signal for help.

A water bottle

Getty Images/Matt CardyA water bottle.

One of the most important resources humans need to survive in any dangerous situation, from a natural disaster to getting lost on a hike, is access to clean water. Humans can only last three to four days without it.

A water bottle itself can also function as a water filter. Another potential use in a power outage is to shine a flashlight through the bottom of a water bottle to amplify the light.

Lip balm

ShutterstockLip balm.

A tube of lip balm can function as a candle with the addition of a piece of string or even a tampon string, providing heat and light in a case where both are necessary such as a blizzard that results in a power outage.


Sergio Dionisio/Getty ImagesA condom.

Condoms don’t just allow for safer sex – they can make you safer in an emergency. Condoms can hold up to a gallon of water, and non-lubricated condoms can be used as tinder for a fire, according to Willow Haven Outdoor.

A non-perishable snack


That forgotten bag of trail mix or that protein bar at the bottom of your bag could make all the difference in dire circumstances. A non-perishable high-protein snack can be life-saving when food is in short supply, such as in the aftermath of a devastating storm or if you get lost while hiking.

Sanitary pads

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERA sanitary pad.

In their everyday use, pads are used to absorb period blood during menstruation. But the absorbent material was originally used during World War I as surgical dressing. In a case of severe blood loss from an injury, a pad can be used to staunch the bleeding.

A lighter

Smoking cigarettes won’t help you live longer, but the lighter typically used to smoke them could. Starting a fire is a way to stay warm and alert search parties of your location in the wilderness and is useful for lighting candles in a blackout.

A first aid kit

The benefits of carrying a first aid kit are obvious. A small kit containing sterile bandages, gauze, and disinfectant wipes can prevent wounds from becoming infected and deadly.

A flashlight

While most phones have a flashlight function, it drains valuable battery life. A pocket-sized flashlight or small key chain can help you find an escape route in the pitch black of a power outage or other disaster while leaving you with enough phone power to call for help.


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