When you think of emergency preparedness, food, water and cash are probably the first things you think of. However, having the right clothing and tools is equally important in order to keep you and your supplies safe from the elements. Most of us have a wardrobe full of cotton, which is not the best fabric for staying dry and warm, so be sure to stock up on the following fabrics in order to be fully prepared should a disaster strike.
Technically paracord is a type of cord, but it is an extremely useful emergency tool that is commonly used by the military, so it’s included in this article. This hefty cord can hold up to 550 pounds and can be adapted for many purposes, such as making a tourniquet or a fishing line, sewing, rappelling, building a shelter or even creating an animal snare.
Paracord also works well as highly durable belts and shoelaces as it is quick drying and resistant to rotting. You may consider taking some paracord with you on your next camping trip, so you can get some experience using it in a non-emergency setting.
Mylar is also a highly versatile emergency preparedness fabric. Mylar is frequently used to form
food storage bags that have mylar as the top layer, aluminum foil in the middle and a plastic film on the inside that acts as a sealant. This combination makes the bag highly resistant to the passage of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor, which makes it a good option for preserving food. Keep in mind that mylar is easily punctured, so be sure to keep the bags in a hard container where insects and sharp objects can’t puncture them.
Space blankets, also known as mylar blankets, are used to maintain your body temperature during cold weather. They work by reflecting your body heat back to you. Be aware that these blankets do not work like a blanket you would have on your bed. Space blankets don’t provide any insulation and quickly become the same temperature as it is outside. Thus, it’s important to have an insulating layer between you and the blanket in order for it to be effective.
Speaking of insulation, fleece fabric is an excellent insulator should you find yourself stuck in cold weather. Fleece is also somewhat water resistant compared to cotton, but be sure to have layers of clothing in order to stay warm and dry. In extremely cold weather, start with a thermal underwear close to the skin. Next, add some insulation such as wool or fleece and a jacket made from synthetic fiber. Finally, add a windproof and waterproof layer, such as a jacket made from Gore Tex which allows sweat to escape but keeps rain out. Of course, be sure to have a good hat, socks, shoes and gloves to complete the ensemble.
Remember, we never know when a natural disaster will strike or a personal emergency, such as a heater breaking or a car breaking down, so be sure to be prepared for all weather conditions in order to keep you and your family safe.
Author: Lee Flynn