7 Tools To Keep Your Head Above Water

It shouldn't take a tragedy like the South Korean floods to convince you to be prepared for your own water-based crisis. These seven tools will keep you safe when the waters rise.

Mustang High Impact SAR Vest

Though it goes without saying, if you're on the water (during a flood or not) you should be wearing a life jacket. And if you're wearing a life jacket, you should be wearing the Mustang MV5600 SAR Vest. It's designed to withstand rugged service, strength-tested to 160km/h+ (meaning the jacket components can withstand high speed impacts — you're still boned) and provides solid impact protection by minimising neck mobility with its sturdy, high collar. The cutaway armholes allow for maximum mobility (since you'll be paddling a lot) and the large front cargo pockets have enough storage for your essentials. $US520.

Garmin Rino 120

Coordinating in a survival situation is a lot easier if everyone's on the same page. The Garmin Rino 120 helps team leaders not only keep in constant contact with the rest of the group (up to 8km away) but actually see where they are by using the integrated GPS transceivers. $US270.

ZODIAC Canister Coastal Life Raft

Forget sitting on your roof for days on end. If things get really hairy, just bust out the Zodiac Canister Coastal. It's got space for eight passengers and includes all the essentials — an anchor, paddles, rescue quoit, floating knife, torch, bailer, pump, sponges, log book, flares and repair kit. Deployment is idiot proof, as the Zodiac is designed to open rightside up every time. $US2420.

Cabela's Spring Run 5mm Felt 1,000-gram Waders

Given the amount of hazards both in the water itself as well as hidden under the surface, you'll want something more than flip-flops and board shorts if you have to step into the flood. The Cabela's Spring Run neoprene Chest Waders combine 1000g Thinsulate and felt lined pockets to keep your warm and dry no matter how cold the water is. The knees and shins are reinforced with Armor-Flex fabric to help defend against submerged hazards while the felt outsoles provide traction. $US180.

KA-BAR Becker Combat Utility BK7

Sure, you could carry your 128-piece, 3kg Swiss Army Knife in a flood emergency. Or you could forgo the use of its nail file, toothpick and magnifying glass for a KA-BAR BK7 Utility knife that can actually cut something more substantial than twine — like piratous, maritime hobos. Even with its 7-inch blade, the BK7 weighs less than a half a kilo. $US115.

3M Performance Plus Duct Tape

The perfect solution for holes in the boat and noisy raft-mates alike, 3M Performance Plus Duct Tape is highly resistant to sunlight, UV and water. It holds firm for up to a year regardless of the environment. $US9.

MSA Advantage 3000 Respirator

You have any idea the sorts of crazy shit released into the air during a flood? Viruses, mould spores, smoke, and evaporated oil products all float freely above the toxic soup. The MSA Advantage 3000 Full Facepiece Respirator is light (about 40 per cent less than other full face respirators), features a wraparound silicone faceplate and scratch-resistant, distortion-eliminating polycarbonate lens. It also is designed to reduce breathing resistance while (depending on which filter you use) eliminating everything from simple nuisance odours to non-IDLH toxics. $US163.