If you ever have a SHTF moment in your life you should be prepared, which is why you’re here. What you will find when searching how to best be prepared is hundreds of articles about having extra food, alternate energy sources, and many things. One set of items that you should also have is the proper safety equipment. If it’s a long term SHTF or a natural disaster SHTF moment you will need certain equipment to aid you in staying safe and healthy in the environment you are dealt with.
One of the first and possibly most important items to have is eye protection. If your environment is dirty and full of debris, a little wind can blow and particulate can get into your eyes. Vision is the most important sense we have, but in a situation where you need to navigate safely through wreckage, vision is all important. There are many things you can use to protect your eyes. One of the easiest items are safety glasses, which can be purchased in any hardware store. They make them in all styles and colors with tinted lens, with UV protection, or clear, so there is something for everyone. You can also get them in prescriptions, but they can be expensive. See my previous post about vision correction post SHTF for an idea how to get them. An alternate for people with glasses are safety goggles made specifically to go over your glasses. You could also get a safety shield that you wear like a hat and covers your entire face. I would highly recommend having some Safety Glasses that are also sunglasses, since you will likely be outside much more.
Next to protecting your vision the next most important is your feet. When you are walking around in a mess and digging through rubble, protection of your feet is important. You break a toe it’s hard and painful to walk let alone run. You get a nail through your foot, it is painful at best or you get tetanus at worst, which can be deadly. Every person should have a pair of safety shoes/boots if you do much construction around your home and they can be used in an emergency. Proper safety footwear will have steel toes or composite toes to protect your toes from getting crushed. Be aware that they have a limit. A car falls on your toes, your losing your toes. Another safety feature is a steel shank, which is meant to help prevent a nail from coming through your sole. Safety footwear comes in tennis shoes, slip-on, dress, and boots. I have linked slip-on boots, but they are also available in lace up. While I prefer lace up boots, because they give additional ankle support and protection, anything is better than nothing.
Another important part of your body to protect are your hands. They are most likely to get cuts and scrapes when working outside. There are many styles of gloves and some with specialized purposes. Some protect specifically against cuts, and others from puncture, but a good pair of leather gloves will cover most needs a person will have. A pair of leather gloves can be had very cheap, and in various thickness of material, but something is better than nothing. I would recommend a good pair that affords your hands protection, but also gives you some amount of dexterity for fine manipulation.
One safety item that many don’t have and haven’t really thought of I find is a good helmet. Protecting your head is very important since a simple light weight item at sufficient speed can cause tremendous damage. The type of helmet is almost limitless since a proper safety rated helmet is made for many activities. A motorcycle helmet is an example of a safety rated helmet that people may not think of. Even the variety of normal construction site helmets are plentiful. Some are of the traditional style, some have full brims, and some have a built in safety shield for your eyes. You can also buy attachments for helmets to hold lights and neck protecting materials.
We all need to be prepared in the event of an emergency, but not only with food, water, and ammo. We also should be prepared to look out for the safety of our own person. Proper clothes and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) are a key to this. For additional protection some good ideas are knee and elbow pads.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.