What If Series Presents the Space Blanket

“What if,” the worrisome words, arrive in the conscious spinning topics from safety and financial security to loved ones and pet health. Asking, “What can I do?” leads to a proactive decision to invest time in the ultimate insurance policy – valuable life skills comprising security, shelter, food, water and medical care! In any emergency, from extreme weather to a personal disaster, you have the power to take charge of your fate by making plans and taking action!  

Fabrics, such as wool and fleece, usually connect to the definition of bodily warmth; yet, if you ever watch a marathon runner preparing or finishing a race, they are often wrapped in a windproof and waterproof, reflective plastic called a space blanket. It goes by other names, too! Perhaps you heard of the Mylar, emergency or the first-aid blanket? Designed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for the United States space program in 1964, the goal was to create a lightweight, heat-reflective plastic sheeting to control heat loss in a person’s body. By reflecting 97% of radiation, the sheet has a metalized polyethylene terephthalate, MPET, or metallic coating. In planning for an emergency, the space blanket is the perfect addition for a vehicle’s emergency kit, outdoor enthusiast and, of course, homeowners!   

A list of ways to use the extraordinary blanket! 

Home Uses 

  1. Apply to windows to prevent heat loss.  
  2. Place behind your woodstove to direct heat away from the wall.  
  3. During power outages, position the blanket behind lanterns and candles to produce a more significant light into a room.  
  4. Electrical outages, place a Mylar blanket inside your duvet cover to prevent heat loss during the night.  
  5. Wildlife, especially birds, do not like reflective objects. Consider cutting strips and place them in your garden to deter animals from your crops.  
  6. The space blanket is the ideal sunshade for vegetable beds. While protecting plants from wilting, it also reduces moisture loss due to evaporation! 
  7. Attach it to your vehicle’s sunshade. During the winter, the reflective powers will prevent ice from forming on the glass.  

In the Outdoors

  1. Apply the material next to your body in conditions of rain or cold temperatures. For optimal protection, take off your coat, hood or hat. If you become too hot, undo your jacket and allow the heat to escape, or uncover from your head for a minute or two. Just remember, Mylar cannot breathe! 
  2. Cut up the material to line your boots and gloves. Fingers and toes are susceptible to frostbite! 
  3. If in need of water, use the sheet to create a collection site. 
  4. Duct tape several together to use as an outdoor groundsheet or sunshade covering. 
  5. Campers can contain warmth by placing a blanket behind the campfire and on the tent’s back wall. No worries concerning a fire threat; Mylar melts at temperatures over 489 degrees.
  6. Fish love shiny surfaces; try cutting small strips to make lures! 
  7. Use Mylar as a means to call for help, either by marking your location or creating an arrow to indicate your direction of travel.  
  8. Strong and durable, cut long strips and tie together to make an emergency cord; perhaps not applicable for repelling. The texture is not well-suited for the activity. 
  9. First Aid to the rescue! Cut wide and lengthy strips to fashion a sling in an emergency; thin strips work well for a makeshift tourniquet. 

Where would an emergency happen? Perhaps while driving, walking to a destination or in the home! Space blankets are a lightweight and fractionally small means of security. Toss it in your emergency kits, glove box and purse! Although it makes a crinkling sound, the Mylar sheet is practically perfect, ensuring the user’s survival during any hazardous situation! Consider buying in bulk; each one is roughly $1. 

Next Month: The Many Uses of Duct Tape



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