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EMERGENCY CAR KIT

    There are many varieties of emergency car kits that can be purchased or assembled. What they contain (and whether smaller ones should be a part of a larger one) will be determined by how often you drive, where you drive to, where you live, what kind of weather you have, how much trunk or storage space is in the vehicle, and price. Donít fill your trunk with so many supplies that cargo space is minimized or that they increase the weight of your vehicle so much that gas mileage is affected.

    Here are some ideas. Have one or two containers to keep everything from rolling around in the trunk or storage area.

1. A #10 can with a plastic lid containing the following supplies. Velcro may be glued to the outside so that the can will stick to the carpet on the side of the trunk instead of rolling freely. Include:
    12 ounces of water
    whistle
    water-proof poncho
    space blanket
    zipper seal bag
    3600 calorie food bar
    handwarmers
    Pocket Partner reference book
2. Car tool kit (these can be purchased or enlist the aid of a mechanic to determine which tools to include)
3. Small first aid kit
4. Jumper cables (and instructions on how to use them)
5. Emergency fan belt
6. Flares
7. Fix-a-flat (an aerosol spray)
8. Duct tape
9. Bungee cord
10. Rope
11. Ice scraper (even if you donít live where you get snow and ice very often)
12. Ground tarp
13. Lysol wipes
14. Water
15. Bounty-to-go (small roll of plastic wrapped paper towels)
16. Bath towel
17. Large plastic trash bag
18. Old telephone book (for address and phone number reference even if you have a smartphone)
19. Small atlas (even if you have a smartphone)
20. Reusable shopping bags

All of this will fit into a small rectangular crate or tote in one corner of a car trunk.

Why are some things included on the list?
- A whistle can help rescuers find you in the dark or in a storm.
- A zipper seal bag to hold open food, broken parts of something or treasures picked up on a trip.
- Duct tape will fix anything! At least temporarily!
- Youíll be glad you have an ice scraper when you travel south to north and hit an early winter storm or a late spring storm.
- Ground tarp (preferably one made of reinforced fabric) for that spur of the moment picnic, trip to the beach or covering a broken window.
- Lysol wipes and water for the time the kids got so excited they couldnít keep their lunch down.
- Water for drinking, cleaning and radiator emergencies.
- Paper towels, see reasons for Lysol wipes and water.
- Bath towel, see reasons for ground tarp. Also good for covering and hiding things in the car while on a trip or drying off in a surprise rain storm.
- Trash bags can be used to cover broken windows, protecting items that need to be carried outside in a storm, holding wet clothes, or protecting car carpets and seats from gardening and yard supplies.

In addition to supplies in the trunk, carry the following in the car:
- an umbrella
- a few small emergency food bars (in case you canít get to the trunk for some reason)
- a flashlight (check periodically. Heat will weaken batteries.)
- a tire gauge
- a tool for breaking a window if caught in a flood
- coins for toll roads
- cell phone charger with secondary USB port
- proof of car insurance
- car registration (Even if your state doesnít require it, many do.)
- car manual

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Last modified: 07/15/2013