If you're like many modern people, you probably keep a couple of bottles of water, a change of clothing, and perhaps a few tools in the back of your car. If you live in an area where ice or snow is a part of the picture during the winter, you probably also have an ice scraper and perhaps a bag of kitty litter in the event that you need to get your vehicle unstuck. Although having these things on hand is a good start, you should also stock your trunk with the following items:
Even if you've got a basic jack and a screwdriver in your vehicle, they might not be enough if you're called upon to change a tire by the side of the road. You'll need to have a good set of road flares in case the flat occurs at night, and you should also have a tire iron, lug wrench, and a can of lubricant such as WD-40. Having a can of tire sealant on hand is also a good idea because you can use it to stop leaks on a temporary basis. A set of comprehensive instructions on how to change a flat tire should be kept in an envelope or in your glove compartment if you are relatively unfamiliar with the process.
A 24-Hour Bug Out Bag
If a catastrophic disaster occurs while you are at work, school, shopping, visiting friends or relatives, or otherwise away from home, you're going to wish you had more in the trunk of your car than a few bottles of water and a change of clothing. A good 24-hour bug out bag provides the supplies you need to make it back home when a natural or man-made disaster strikes. You'll need the following:
- Six to eight energy bars, depending on how far you have to travel to get home, and two liters of water
- A lightweight tarp in case you have to make shelter
- A rain poncho
- A pair of good walking shoes and thick pair of wool socks, particularly if you typically wear dress shoes to the office
- Something you can start a fire with
- A high quality multi-tool that includes a saw, allen wrench, wire cutters, pliers, and a fixed-blade knife.
- A basic first-aid kit that includes hand sanitizer, small towels, and wet wipes
- A battery-powered headlamp
- Spare batteries
Those who typically take public transportation to work should consider leaving a 24-hour bug out bag at their office to promote their chances of making it home if a disaster occurs while they're at work.