Auto Trunk Emergency Items

         Here’s a list of 30 items that I’ve compiled to help motorists give thought to what should be carried in their vehicle trunks for emergencies.  You will most likely not elect to include every item listed here for your own personal kit — but this will help give you ideas to start with.  Select and create YOUR  best kit from the following:

1. Photocopies of identification
2. Current photos of family members (if your home is damaged, they may have to evacuate to a Red Cross or other shelter; having photos may expedite your re-connecting)
3. Flashlight with spare back-up bulb and batteries
4. Fire extinguisher
5. Waterproof matches
6. Blanket
7. Duct tape
8. First aid kit
9. Diapers and/or feminine napkins (excellent bandages)
10. Bungie cord
11. Rope
12. Bottled water (at least six 12 ounce plastic bottles)
13. Spare eye glasses/contact lens solutions
14. Necessary medications: aspirin/antacid/throat lozenges (air dust particles cause throat irritation) — also, with remember to add enough prescription items for a minimum of three days, or more, as pharmacies may not be available)
15. Carpenter’s dust masks (four or more from hardware store)
16. Toilet paper and tissues
17. Plastic garbage bags (temporary rain coats/clothing/or for assembly as shelter using duct tape and rope)
18. Multi-purpose knife (Swiss Army Knife-type)
19. Spam/canned sausages/tuna/beans (“easy-open” type)
20. Can opener (for cans that are not “easy open”)
21. Energy bars (at least six; 2,500 calories each (these can be found at health food and camping stores)
22. Maps (to learn alternate routes around damaged roads)
23. Work gloves/work shoes (protection from broken glass)
24. Wrecking (“crow”) bar (at least a 20″ length bar)
25. Tools: blade and Phillips screwdriver, standard pliers and “lock grip” type, adjustable open-end wrench
26. Water purification tablets (military surplus/camping stores)
27. Mirror (camping type/unbreakable)
28. Folding shovel (source: military surplus stores)
29. Replacement V-belts (or “serpentine”-type belts)
30. Replacement radiator hose
- OK, let’s give you MORE than “30″ items!
31. Battery jumper cables and safety goggles to wear when jump-starting a vehicle
32. Bag of sand or rock salt to use as traction aid on snow- or ice-covered roads
33. Wheel chocks to block wheels during roadside tire-changing or emergency service

        In some cases the items in this list duplicate my suggested on-the-road breakdown kit. You may mix and match, as well as add to this list. Though there are quite a few items here, most are quite small and you can pack the entire contents in a corner of your car’s trunk.

        Remember to seal your kit to be water resistant as moisture will cause corrosion. Change the water every six months; canned goods every one year for canned goods. It’s a good idea to mark the date that you stored the kit on the top of each can using a felt-tip marker. Then, also mark these dates down and keep them with your other other scheduled auto maintenance checks. Hopefully you’ll never need your emergency supplies, but it’s a good feeling to know you’ve thought ahead!

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