Vital Protection Often Neglected by Preppers

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I found out one of my co-workers had to take an extended leave because he has an eye injury that requires surgery.  I heard he had gotten hit in the eye while playing sports.  This got me to thinking that in a major disaster, having an eye injury would really make life even more difficult.

When you first think about preparing for disasters, eye care rarely comes to mind.  But if you really consider it, you would be quite helpless if something were to happen to your vision in a disaster situation.  Glasses and contact lenses may not be readily available, and you may not be able to get proper medical care if you are in the midst of an emergency.

Here are a few eye care tips to get you started:

  1. Get your eyes checked on a regular basis.  Most insurance plans cover eye exams annually.
  2. Keep an extra pair of glasses and/or contact lenses in your first aid kit or car, in case of emergencies.  I keep last years prescription glasses as my backup pair just in case.
  3. When cooking or canning, keep your face at a safe distance from the steam when you open or lift any lids.  This sounds may seem so basic and common sense advice, but something that is often forgotten.
  4. Keep toddlers away from stoves that have pots containing boiling liquids or frying oils.  This is another one that seems like it’s not worth mentioning, but I actually know a couple whose toddler pulled a pot of boiling water from the stove and got severely burned.  They were both in the kitchen getting ready for Thanksgiving, but it happened in seconds.  The little boy had third degree burns; fortunately he has since recovered.
  5. On the same note, keep young kids away from toys or tools that have sharp points or edges, until they are old enough to teach the dangers of “running with scissors.”
  6. Get an overall health checkup.  Diabetes and high blood pressure can have complications that are detrimental to vision.
  7. Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
  8. Do not share eye makeup or grooming tools such as lash curlers.
  9. Be conscious of activities that can potentially damage your eyes or harm you, and wear protective eye wear or safety glasses accordingly:
  • Chopping wood
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Hunting or Target Shooting
  • Carpentry work
  • Environmental cleanup or anything that involves chemicals
  • Exposure to bodily fluids
  • Welding
  • Paintball

Ordinary prescription glasses do not protect you from impact, flying debris or noxious chemicals – you need to wear safety goggles over them.  For flying debris or chemicals, find ANSI-approved (American National Standards Institute) eye wear.  These can be found at hardware or home improvement stores, and the rating is indicated on the lens or frame.  Standards for workplace safety glasses are set by OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration).  Make sure the safety glasses fit properly.

4.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV and UVB rays.

Vision supplements

Vitamin A, B complex, C, D and E are all important to eye health.  In addition, bilberry, a plant extract, helps protect eyes; and lutein, which is a plant pigment, is said to risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.  Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial to eye health.  I am currently trying out Vision Support 1000 Lutein Eye Supplement, which I will be reviewing shortly.

Not convinced?  Watch the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last

Our eyes are fragile, yet we don’t think about them much, until something happens.  They weren’t lying in Christmas Story when the adults told Ralphie “You’ll shoot an eye out!”   Wearing eye protection will help prevent that from happening.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

Updated from a previous post that was originally published on Dec 11, 2013


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  1. Yep, learned the hard way that a good pair of safety glasses are essential. When I was young and stupid, I crawled under my car to take out a fitting and a sharp sliver of the thread dropped down and embedded in my eye. Would up having surgery to remove it and wore a patch for several weeks. There isn’t much else that is as painful or debilitating as an eye injury and you really don’t want that when there may not be a doctor in the house.

    1. I agree!!! had similar incident long ago, went through the same process, add to that getting hydrochloric acid splashed in same eye year later…..SAFETY GLASSES ARE A MUST!!!

      1. Steve B, that must’ve been awful getting hydrochloric acid splashed in your eye. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Never give them a thought as I have glasses, been using them since I was 5.

    But I can see how some without glasses would need goggles.

  3. Loved the Burgess Meredith reference! I’m old enough to have watched that episode when it was first broadcast! It does give one pause…but I digress…

    Great reminder. You’ve obviously noticed, too, that there’s lots of info about keeping N-95 dust masks in our EDC/GHB/BOB etc., but seldom are there suggestions like this about keeping goggles or other eye protection readily available. They are for use in the same conditions, after all.

    Having worn “ski/motorcycle goggles” while growing up and for most of my adult life for protection against snowstorms, while skiing, snowblowing, while riding motorcycles, etc., I find them to be a better choice than common safety goggles/glasses to keep in our vehicles and “bags”, because they seal against the face and do a far better job of keeping out the dust/snow/airflow, and keeping my eyes from watering in windy conditions. They may not provide quite the lens strength of workbench goggles, but they’re better at insulating the eyes from the atmosphere, and they stay on better.

    1. Hi Sideliner 1950 Great tip-ski/motorcycle goggles make for good protection. Thanks for the comment.

  4. certain activities like rescue work, timbering, firefighting ect ect – it’s advantageous to have a visor/faceshield attached to a safety helmet – also allows for a double protection with a pair of safety glasses/goggles wore underneath ….

    1. Illini Warrior, Indeed, a face shield attached to a safety helmet would offer even more protection for those activities that are more hazardous. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Don’t forget reading glasses for us middle-aged folks (or if you plan to make it that far). Get several sets in each strength at the dollar store, as your eyes’ needs will change over time. If you don’t need some of them, they should make great barter items. Make sure to store them in a crush-proof container.

    1. Hi Bobcat-Prepper, Costco has a pretty good selection, but I had not considered the dollar store for reading glasses. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Zenni optical ( sells really inexpensive prescription glasses. I purchased several pairs in my current prescription as backups. I also plan to order some slightly stronger ones soon. As someone who cannot see well without glasses, eye-care is an important part of my emergency supplies.

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