Solo Safety

The big lesson from 2005: Be prepared for anything. Whether that's a realistic goal is debatable, but there are certain precautions everyone can take to help ensure personal safety. Many people have copies of important documents, a stash of nonperishable food, and maybe even cash. But if you haven't already done so, start thinking about other items to have on hand in case of emergency, and what you may want to toss into a purse, briefcase, or luggage when going on the road. Don't be paranoid, but be aware, and be smart.

Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Kit

These bags started selling quickly following Hurricane Katrina, and for good reason. They provide virtually anything a person needs to survive for a few days, including duct tape, food bars, a first-aid kit, and gloves, in an easy-to-store backpack. www.redcross.org/store $49.95



Whistle Key Ring

How many people will carry around an unwieldy container of pepper spray (and risk getting sprayed themselves)? When portable safety is small and convenient, like this whistle, which can be engraved with an initial, chances are much higher that the owner will actually hang on to it. www.mono grammedgifts.com $10.99



Portable Door LockThis door lock fits conveniently into luggage and offers an additional degree of security when traveling. It supplements the existing door lock, so even someone with a key cannot enter the room. Perfect for hotels with outdoor access to rooms, or when you're staying in any potentially unsafe environment. www.defensedevices.com $7.95