The last top-ten list I made was about cool disaster gadgets and it was a big hit. Below I’ve compiled ten awesome life-saving products. I’m not vouching for them, but they appear to be pretty neat…

Although it’s expensive ($399), this normal-looking backpack will stop most handgun bullets. The website even has instructions for use: Hold pack between yourself and the shooter using the shoulder straps as handles. Use as a shield to provide cover for upper torso and head whenever possible. While taking shelter, use pack to protect yourself in the direction of the threat.

You never know when you’re going to be a little too close to a chemical spill. Just in case, this escape mask can help! This mask is a personal emergency device for short-term respiratory protection during escape from an area of a chemical spill. Offers protection against organic gases and vapors with a boiling point higher than 65°C, certain inorganic gases and vapors, sulfur dioxide and other acidic gases and vapors, ammonia and ammonia derivatives. Large visor, made of flame-retardant transparent film, allows a wide field of view. One size fits all and it folds up to fit in your pocket!

Sometimes the only way to get out of dodge is to go out the window. This escape ladder is pretty nifty. Not only does the ladder collapse into a small little kit, but it has a sturdy clamp for windowsills. A really nice feature of this ladder are the external pegs that brace the ladder against the exterior of the wall. As your foot moves to the next rung, the pegs provide a counter-balance against the wall (so that you can get a strong foothold on each rung instead of having the ladder slack against the wall). Also, it’s important to note that this ladder is metal rather than nylon (which will melt in a fire).

In case your window is higher than the escape ladder will reach, you can install the escape chute (can’t miss this video, yikes!). There are several models, but they all involve you bailing out into a really, really long tube (you may or may not be able to see the bottom from the top of this thrill ride). Some of the tubes require anchors while others allow you to extrude out the bottom of the chute unassisted. While it might save your life, there doesn’t appear to be a graceful or non-terrifying way to drop ten stories from the outside of a building.

The Russian company Bazalt might be on to something. This bomb-looking device is meant to be dropped by an airplane and is marketed to put out up to 1,000 square yards of flame. They call it an “aerial firefighting explosive device”. If you click on the title of this paragraph, you’ll see a pretty incredible video of this bomb at work.

This PFD is pretty neat. When it’s worn but not inflated, the vest is pretty small and doesn’t get in the way. When submersed in water, a cartridge of CO2 is used to inflate the vest. The vest can also be deployed manually by pulling on the yellow tab (let’s say you anticipate landing in the drink and want the comfort of activating your vest before you’re chin-deep).

It works like this: if a skier finds herself trapped under heavy snow, the system will inflate to give pinned athletes 150 liters more body volume, equalizing some of the extreme density and helping to bring the body towards the surface as the snow gains speed. Compared to airbags in your car, this body-worn variety utilizes nitrogen canisters rather than CO2, a gas that’s safe to travel with as long as TSA gives you the go-ahead.

Another lifesaving device for use during avalanches is the Avalung. This device works by taking the air you exhale and as your carbon dioxide-saturated breath exits through the bottom end of the rig,  your body acts as a barrier separating the “good” unused air from the “bad” exhalation. Otherwise, CO2 would build up in front of your face, causing snow to refreeze around your face and lead to suffocation.
Afraid that your water bottle or 20 ounce soda might contain a liquid explosive? This tabletop beverage inspection system is designed to quickly screen liquids in bottles where the threat may be present. The MS100P is for use at checkpoints, prisons, events and wherever liquids in bottles are security concern.

Bottles are automatically evaluated in less than 3 seconds. A green light indicates that the bottled beverages are safe, a red light signals an operator to take action (which I assume is a fancy way of saying: “RUN!”)

Sometimes you just need the added peace of mind knowing you have your own life raft at your disposal.  For people like you, the Offshore Commander comes with the following items: inflatable floor, canopy light & reflective tape, rugged, oversized double tubes, automatic inflatable canopy, boarding ladder, righting strap and safety lifelines. The raft comes vacuum-packed for easy storage.