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A SCUBA tank is designed to be used to assist a person in breathing underwater. It usually comes with a  mask, regulator and hose. If there were a situation in which the air around you became contaminated (e.g. smoke from a fire), or if you are facing any threat of flood or a water rescue, you could resort to breathing from it. It may not last very long, but in this case, some air is better than no good air. Check your tank and know your limits. It is not a good idea to leave your SCUBA tank filled all the time. It should only be about 10% full.

Even if you never plan to SCUBA dive, you might consider obtaining SCUBA equipment for preparedness reasons. Even if you are not qualified to use it underwater, if an emergency arises, you might be able to loan it to someone who is qualified, as in the case of needing to perform a water rescue. Check with your local SCUBA shop and ask how much they would charge to teach a class to you and your neighbors on how to use SCUBA equipment - on dry ground. Knowledge is powerful and comforting.

SCUBA tanks do not hold pure oxygen but instead, just like an air compressor, they contain compressed air - the same kind we breathe on dry land. Because SCUBA tanks contain pressurized air, they should never be left where they will get hot, as in direct sunlight in a closed up car. Be sure to shade them when possible. Never let a SCUBA tank fall over or otherwise bang the fragile equipment attached to it.

Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc.

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