Do you have an Emergency Car Kit or Get Back Home Bag?
For those of you who read my blogs on a regular basis, you know I’ve discussed why my hubby and I carry an Emergency Bag in each of our cars—ours is designed to also be a Get Back Home Bag. It contains all sorts of items, from a first aid kit (in case we’re involved in or witness an accident) to food and water to use if we’re stuck in traffic or the roads are temporarily closed. We use backpacks for our kits so if we should be forced to abandon our vehicle and hoof it back home, we have everything we need to get us there (including a space blanket and spare clothes) in an easy-to-carry pack.
You can see the full list on Survival Tip: Emergency Car Kit
But since creating that beginning list, I’ve run across some additional items (some from other people’s lists) that have given me some ah-ha moments, and I’d like to share them here. Some of them are not life essentials but could come in handy, and take up very little space in your pack.
10 Items You May Not Have Thought About:
- Lightsticks. You can pick up some of these in lots of places, like your local hardware store or 99 cent store. They are nice because they don’t need batteries, and if you have kids, they can wear them (easy to keep track of them in the dark).
- Safety Pins. I have a compact sewing kit in each of our packs, but maybe I won’t have the time to repair something with needle and thread. A safety pin could sure come in handy.
- Super Glue. More and more I read about using this to seal up a wound. Especially if you might be squeamish about stitching someone up. In fact, when my son recently cut his finger, the Urgent Care used super glue to repair the skin—no stitches to take out later. And you can use it for the traditional use as well for other repairs. I would keep it stored in a plastic bag to protect other items in the bag, in case of leakage.
- Rubber Bands. This is one I have to admit I hadn’t thought of at all, yet I use these so often at home. Sometimes they just work quicker and better than string. And they take up so little space.
- Playing Cards. Although I have a pack of these in each of our bags, and our camping equipment, I hadn’t listed them on the beginning list. But I want to mention it now. Sitting and waiting is always a pain. At least with a deck of cards you can play solitaire. Or two or more of you can play a lively game of Kings in the Corner. If you have kids, you may also want some other small toys or coloring books, etc. In fact, they can have their own Emergency Car Kit with some of their favorite items.
- Zip-Lock Bags. Plastic bags can come in handy for everything from storing small items so they don’t get lost in the bottom of the bag, to keeping things waterproof, like a pair of wool socks, food, or matches.
- Dental Floss. This usually comes in a handy dispenser and doesn’t take up much room. Could be used for a heavy-duty thread or light string. And of course you can use it for your teeth too!
- Comfortable Walking Shoes. Although I keep these in the trunk of my car (not in my bag), it’s the first thing I would grab if I needed to leave the vehicle. How often are we driving somewhere in fashionable shoes or mere flip-flops? If we had to do any walking at all (to the nearest gas station, as example), having a comfortable pair of shoes on hand could be a real boon. You might be thinking here that you would simply use your cell phone and call for help. I’ll remind you of the county-wide black-out we had here in San Diego, that effected even our cell phones. It took hours to get through. So you might not have that option.
- Magnifying Glass. My hubby teases me about how many different ways we have to make fire. But redundancy is so important when it comes to possible life saving items. What if I’ve already used up all my matches? As long as there is sunlight I can get a fire started within seconds using a small magnifying glass. Yes – practice it!
- Portable Power Pack. This is a new item I added to our emergency bags after creating my previous blog post. You can pick them up in lots of different stores and the small portable ones are inexpensive. We actually found ours for half price during Christmas sales in an Eddie Bauer store. Simply routinely charge the pack and then store it in your bag or car. They all differ, but most of them are designed to give you one full phone charge. It could be a real lifesaver if you needed to use your cell phone for an emergency call and the battery was low.
I hope you found this additional list helpful and it inspires you to create or add to your own Emergency Car Kit.