Ah, the kitchen—the heart of every home. Within those hallowed walls, you not only prepare your meals, but often prepare for emergencies as well. From canning your own food to making your own supplies, the warm and inviting kitchen seems to have the workspace, tools, and supplies you need to do it all. And even if your kitchen isn’t stocked for Armageddon, you’ve probably got the stuff to pull of these three strange hacks, which could just save the day during an emergency.

1. Sharpen Your Knife With A Ceramic Cup
If you happen to have a dull knife, and a ceramic coffee cup with an unglazed bottom, you can use the exposed ceramic as a sharpening surface for “softer” steel knives. Drag the knife edge across the abrasive surface in a curving sweep. Make ten to twenty strokes on each side of the blade for light touch-ups. Use more strokes for serious sharpening jobs. Use a different cup if you notice that the one you’re using loses abrasion.

2. Build An Oil Lamp With Tin Foil & Cooking Oil
Oil lamps date back many centuries (even millennia)—and we can still use them today. Start with a one foot square of aluminum foil (heavy duty foil is best). Fold it in half, and then shape the doubled section into a “genie lamp” shape. Leave an opening for a “spout” and a top opening to pour in the oil. Use any cooking oil for the fuel and any type of cotton or plant fiber for the “wick”. A bit of jute twine or cotton kitchen twine will work well, or a twisted section of paper towel will work in a pinch. Light the oil soaked wick with an open flame – and you will have a bright little oil lamp! This is a great use for rancid tasting or used cooking oil.

3. Use Coffee Filters To Pre-filter Drinking Water
No, a coffee filter will not disinfect your drinking water. But it will screen out some of the bigger chunks from the raw water that you collected outside. Mud, silt, sediment, algae and debris can clog up your fancy water filters and negate some of the disinfecting chemicals that you might use. Pour your raw water through one (or several) coffee filters to clean it up and maximize the effectiveness of true disinfection methods.

Could you survive with the odds and ends in your kitchen? Tell us what you’d do by leaving a comment.