10 Items to Make You Feel Safe Again

Neil StraussNeil

When Emergency was originally released, GQ magazine asked me to provide a list of ten items to make people feel safe in uncertain times. They didn’t want a serious list of items, but an article that combined common sense and expert knowledge, and was also basically entertainment. So get your credit card out and ready for…

1. Mad Dog “Bear Cat” Knife

With a 5.4 inch carbon-steel blade, this is one of the finest, handmade, all-purpose survival knives around, perfect for butchering animals, taking out looters, and getting a close shave.

2. Monopoly Game
So what if you just lose all your money in the market and your bank just crashed, just buy Boardwalk and Park Place, and you’re rich again. Pounds, dollars, Monopoly money – one day, they’ll all be the same anyway.

3. SeaPack Portable Seawater Desalination Unit
You’ll never have to worry about water shortages again when the ocean is yours to drink. As an added bonus, this kit adds grape flavor to the brine.

4. Larrivée D-03 Acoustic Guitar
Not only is a rolling blackout the perfect time to take up that instrument you’ve always wanted to play, but you can always busk when the chips are down, use the strings as snares to catch small game, and wield the body as a blunt weapon.

5. Sportcopter II Gyroplane
Traffic is bad enough on a regular day, so imagine what it will be like if the shit hits the fan. Avoid congestion by keeping this two-person flying machine at the ready in your backyard, local airport, or parents’ garage.

6. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
One of the best ways to ease your worries about an uncertain future is to know that, no matter how bad things get for you, they probably won’t ever get this bad.

7. Magnum Condom
I know what you’re thinking, and it’s good for that kind of safety too, but your seed may be needed to repopulate the planet in the event of an apocalypse. Instead, repurpose your condoms as lightweight, impromptu water canteens by putting them in a sock and filling them with precious, life-giving liquid.

8. 24 DVD Boxed Set
The problem with the real-time series 24 is that you know exactly how many hours you’re wasting by watching each season. It’s not practical for hard-working people, but for the recently laid off, why not dedicate a week to watching all eight seasons?

9. Thermo-Gel
This stuff keeps your house from burning in a fire. Really. No joke.

10. SimCity 4
And finally, perhaps the best way to cheer yourself up as society collapses around you is to build your own, better version.