Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye. Are you prepared? Most people are prepared at home and at work, but what about that in-between place that whisks you to work, zips your children through the carpool lane, and careens into that last open parking space? That’s right, your car is the one place you are likely to encounter an emergency, and you need to pack the trunk accordingly.
Traditional Trunk Items
The main thing you will need is a first aid kit– the run of the mill sort will work. But, the next few items you just might have handy other places, but you need to add them to your car as soon as possible because you never know when you might need them. Flashlights and batteries, a solar blanket, a regular blanket, a change of clothes, a fire extinguisher, flares, and high energy foods are just some of the things that you might want to have on hand if you are stuck on the side of the road.
Why Didn’t I Think of That? Items
You might not think that a three-pound metal coffee can is an essential to keep in the trunk, but it is. The can along with some tea-light candles and waterproof matches can help you melt snow for drinking water.
Another not so well known item is a jump starter. I have one made by the Stanley Corporation. It has kept me from being stranded a number of times. It is a portable, easy to use battery pack that you can hook to your battery to jumpstart your car. It also has a built-in air compressor. The air compressor comes in handy if you find that you have a flat tire. Having it and the jump-starter handy and the can of fix-a-flat are easy ways to get back on the road in no time. The jump-starter also has a 12-volt car charger plug, and also a USB port plug which can be useful to recharge your cell phone or other necessary item while you are stranded.
Cat litter is another goodie to keep hidden in your trunk for emergencies. You can sprinkle it on the ground if you get stuck. It will help your tires gain some traction on a slippery surface. Rock salt used to be the item of choice for this to melt the ice, but it causes cars to rust and damages concrete also. Pouring salt on your windshield has been effective in the past. However, I prefer using a mixture of isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol found in the first aid aisle) and a couple drops of your favorite dishwashing liquid. This mixture will do the trick. Fill your windshield wiper fluid container with this concoction to de-ice your car windshield on a frosty morning or to de-ice while stranded and waiting for help on the side of the roadway.
A three-day supply of your prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, rope, duct tape, a knife, easy opened canned foods, toilet tissue, diapers or feminine products, and work gloves also should be hidden away just in case you cannot get back home to get to them.
Have to Have It Items
*Hand Clean Up
Baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and a roll of paper towels are three items that you have to have in the trunk of your car. If you are peering under the hood or touching a tire, your hands will show it. These basic cleaners will get the grunge off you quickly.
Two quarts of oil and a gallon of antifreeze should be on hand in your car year round. A tire pressure gauge, and basic tools: screw driver, pliers, wrench, and vise grips, should be on hand just in case you need them. A pocket knife is also mandatory.
Remember: Pack Right, No Fright! Have a safe trip!