This is going to come as a shock to some of you ladies … but that Estée Lauder compact with mirror you've been toting around in your purse can actually be more valuable in a survival situation than that emergency powdering in the ladies room.

We've discussed the importance of finding shelter, water and food in a disaster situation … but how about the ultimate …being rescued?

Mirrors can be the key to a successful rescue simply by following some general guidelines.

Oh, and size doesn't matter. The flash from your compact mirror, which is what?…two inches in diameter (around)? … can be seen during the daytime (in ideal conditions) from almost 100 miles away – yes I said 100 miles away, but the general rule of thumb is about 10 miles, which is a fairly good distance to say the least.

It’s a given that mirrors work best in good sunlight, but they can also work in overcast days. They can reflect on almost any light source, headlights, a flashlight, a candle or, even the bright moonlight. By aiming the mirror correctly, the bright flash created will reveal your whereabouts even in densest of areas and rugged landscape.

Should you accidentally drop your mirror, or it somehow gets broken … don’t consider it bad luck, the pieces will still function and reflect as if it were whole (be careful not to cut yourself while holding the broken pieces though.)

If you are caught without your mirror (oh the shame of it all!), there are other things that may work just as well. You can use the rear view mirror off a car, a CD (the disc), aluminum foil, even a shiny metal can or yes even jewelry. Be creative. We are creature attracted by shiny things. If it shines – more than likely it reflects, too!

To use your “shiny object of choice”:

Stretch your hand out in front of you palm facing toward you and form a “V” with your thumb and index finger (or (middle finger and index finger)​

Move your hand until the “object” you want to flash-on is ‘sighted’ between the “V” (you can see it through the “V”. The object could be a house, a car or even a plane overhead)

Holding your “shiny object of choice” (mirror) in your other hand

Position the mirror so that the sunlight reflects off your mirror and goes through the “V” formed by your fingers and toward the object you are trying to attract

Once you have flashed on the intended target, continue to flash them until they acknowledge your presence.

So, the next time you go to the ladies room to powder that shiny nose of yours, remember a mirror can be your best friend in a survival situation too, take care to have it with you at all times. One never knows when you might need it in an emergency.

Oh, and just so you don’t get any weird ideas, especially as to step number 5, i.e. once you have gotten the attention of the intended target, I wouldn’t suggest you using this at your next cocktail party to get the attention of the guy across the room!

- Survivor Jane


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