Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
First of all, for those of you who have been with us from the beginning of this series, congratulations! Why? Because todays article marks the half way point of the series. You and your family are half way done with this years preparedness plan. And even though it’s only been $20 a paycheck, your preparedness stores are quite substantial at this point and here at The Ready Center we’re pretty darn proud of you for that. Just considering the supplies and gear that you’ve acquired thus far, you’ll be light-years ahead of where your neighbors are when disaster strikes. So, go you!
This paycheck we are recommending that you go out and spend this $20 on a few select hand tools. Specifically a multi-head screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, a mini pry bar, a mini hack saw, and a spring loaded center punch. Keep reading to find out why.
1. Multi-Head Screwdriver ($5) – The benefits of having a multi-head screwdriver are many. Not only for the sake of use, but also for the sake of weight. 1 screwdriver with 6 bits will weigh substantially less than 7 full screwdrivers. Not only that, but if you wanted to expand your “tool kit” to include even more options such as hex bits, torx bits, or nut drivers, you have the option. Having one of these bad boys allows you to carry more than one tool without actually carrying more than one tool. Weather you need to repair an electrical component amidst a power outage or heating unit amidst a blizzard, having a multi-head screwdriver is useful beyond measure.
2. Adjustable Wrench ($3) – Like the multi-head screwdriver, having an adjustable wrench is like carrying more than one tool without having to carry more than one tool. With one adjustable wrench you can add a mere eight ounces to your Survival Kit rather than having to add a full 15 pounds of wrenches, sockets, and ratchets. Due to its shape and its weight distribution, in a worst case scenario an adjustable wrench could also be used a s a defensive weapon for protection. Buying an adjust able wrench is a no brainer. Get one.
3. Mini Pry Bar ($4) – This is normally a hand tool that most people don’t own or even think of owning. The reality is that post natural or man-made disaster, having one of these in your kit is almost a must have. In almost every disaster scenario that you may encounter, there is going to be debris – tornados, hurricanes, terrorist bombing, etc all produce enormous amounts of debris. In almost every case of the above, someone somewhere ends up getting trapped in or under something. This very small and ultra-light tool could help you save a life if you needed to disassemble something that is (as a whole) too big to lift. Also, there are many cases documented from Hurricane Katrina in which the flood waters raised so extraordinarily high that families used tools just like this to pry holes in their upstairs ceilings from the inside of their house so they could get their family to the safety of their roofs and signal for rescue helicopters. So don’t write off the mini pry bar as being un-useful. It really is quite the work horse.
4. Mini Hack Saw ($4) – These mine hack saws are extremely light and do the tough jobs that the other tools in this article can’t. It can literally saw through metal. Be it cutting through rebar on an after-earthquake rescue mission or shredding through a padlock to get much needed supplies, the mini hacksaw can handle it. It won’t be used nearly as often as the multi-head screwdriver or adjustable wrench, but on that rare occasion you do need it, you’ll be darn happy you have one.
5. Spring Loaded Center Punch ($5) – The spring loaded center punch is the tool that you will use the least out of this bunch. That being said, we still highly recommend you get one. For only $5 you can get a tool that lets you safely break glass without causing injury to self. Regardless of what you’ve seen on tv, many glass windows are actually very tough to break. However popping any car window with a spring loaded center punch will completely shatter the window without it exploding everywhere. Many times the window stays upright after impact and gives you the safe option of using a stick or something of the like to push the shattered window gently onto the seat. When it comes to non automotive glass, such as that you would find in a house window or commercial storefront, a simple and light pop from the spring loaded center punch allows you safely break the glass in a fashion in which the glass falls downward instead of dangerously exploding everywhere. Not only that, but the manner in which you use a spring loaded center punch allows you to keep your hands much more clear of the falling glass, thus making it much more safe than using a hammer, baseball bat, or something else of the like to break such a window. And like the mini hacksaw, you won’t use the spring loaded center punch as often as some of your other tools, but for the price it would be plain silly not to have one in your Kit.
Yes, we are well aware that if you add up all the items you will have a grand total of $21 instead of $20. We used the prices that we could find at our local Fred Meyers, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s… in Alaska where things are just a bit more expensive. We are confident that you can acquire all of these tools for under $20 if you take the time to shop around.
Regardless of where you get your tools, the simple fact is that with as little as a $20 investment, you could use them to save the life of a neighbor or loved one. So get shopping, toss them in your Survival Kit, and we’ll see you July 1st for part 13 of “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck”.
The Ready Center