5 More Cheap & Embarrassingly Easy Ways To Save Your Life. Seriously, I’m still struggling to put together our emergency 48 hour kits and my mother has a 2 year food supply. She was lecturing me about “planning ahead!” the other day and I foolishly replied, “why should I? I know where you live.” Mary Helen hung up on me. Some parents have no sense of humor. However…it does point out that we all have appalling gaps in our arsenal to protect ourselves and the ones we love. I posted the first five ideas the other day, click here if you haven’t read them. Ready for more?
1. Get a DIY survival kit for the car
We’re a car-oriented society, and even with cell phones and GPS systems things can go wrong in out-of-the way places. Edmunds.com has a list of basic car-related items that can help you get out of a roadside emergency. But what if you’re stranded in a blizzard or a remote stretch of desert with no help in sight?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests you keep the following in your car:
- Snow shovel, broom and ice scraper
- Sand or kitty litter, to help give snow-stuck tires some traction
- Blankets for protection from the cold (deserts get cold at night, too)
- Water, food and necessary medicine — especially for long trips through lightly populated areas
2. Learn to swim
The Centers for Disease Control says drowning ranks fifth among leading causes of accidental death and injury in the U.S.
About 37% of U.S. adults reportedly cannot swim 24 yards, or the length of a typical swimming pool. Meanwhile, adults make up more than 70% of drowning deaths each year.
And it says formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children. A swimming course at the local rec center for you, and a swimming and/or drown-proofing class for your toddler, can be priceless.
3. Get an annual physical
A yearly medical examination can update you on any potential health challenges you might face. Preventive medicine is also a good weapon against sudden health emergencies like heart attack or stroke.
“You don’t want to wind up in the emergency room with a heart attack if it’s something preventable,” Dr. Brian Krachman. an internal medicine specialist, told HealthWatch.”Emergency rooms are great, but they can’t tell you what is going to happen for the rest of your life. That’s what a physical is designed to do.”
4. Eat at home — sparingly, and healthily
We’re a fast-food nation — and that’s hurting our overall health and maybe shortening our lives. A 2010 USDA report found that Americans spend about 42% of their food budgets on food away from home — food that often is filled with too much saturated fat, salt and sugar.
“On average,” the report said, “breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grain and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol and added sugar.”
5. Learn basic first aid, CPR and the Heimlich maneuver
Basic first-aid techniques can save your life, as well as that of your friends and family. The American Heart Association reports nearly all cardiac arrests take place at home — but that only 30% of Americans know CPR. Effective CPR administered by a bystander right after sudden cardiac arrest can double or even triple a victim’s chances of survival. And the CDC says CPR performed by bystanders at drownings has been shown to save lives and improve the overall outcomes of drowning victims.
Choking, meanwhile, reportedly accounts for nearly 4,600 deaths each year and is one of the leading causes of death in the home. Learning how to self-administer the Heimlich maneuver has saved people choking on food while alone.
Editor’s note: I can attest to this last tip: The Todd and I took CPR when the twins were born. While we’ve never had to use the procedure on them, we’ve had occasion to use our knowledge 5 times. It is crucial. Absolutely.
Ready to learn more handy and inexpensive life saving ideas from Money/MSN.com? Click here.