February 19, 2018

5 Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies

This guest post was written by Lee Flynn.

5 Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies
There are a few key items that every person should keep in their vehicle for emergencies. If a person becomes stranded, these items can help keep them alive until help arrives. The most important thing is to prepare ahead of time because no one knows when their vehicle might break down, or a natural disaster will strand them without help.
5 Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies

There are a few key items that every person should keep in their vehicle for emergencies. If a person becomes stranded, these items can help keep them alive until help arrives. The most important thing is to prepare ahead of time because no one knows when their vehicle might break down, or a natural disaster will strand them without help.
Canned Goods and Water

FEMA suggests the people who are preparing for emergency situations keep at least a half a gallon of water available per person. The minimum amount of time to prepare for is three days. Keeping canned goods on hand is very helpful because they stay sealed, can be heated over a fire, and can be eaten cold if necessary. FEMA also says that each person should have enough food for at least one full meal a day to maintain strength and energy levels in an emergency situation. Emergency food is a vital part of being prepared for the unexpected. A can opener and a knife are other handy items to keep with food stores.
First Aid Kit

People should always keep a first aid kit in their vehicle and home at all times. There should be bandages, gauze, antiseptic, tape, scissors, antibiotic cream, tweezers, Q-tips or cotton balls, Benadryl and plastic bags in an emergency first aid kit. Any scrapes or cuts can be cleaned and bandaged right away if the necessary supplies are on hand. If an allergic reaction occurs from being stranded in an area where allergens are present, then the person can counteract the reaction with Benadryl. This medicine is an extremely important step for people who are severely allergic to anything in nature like bees or poison ivy. The plastic bags can be used as a clean surface while bandaging a wound.

A Christian will always want to keep an extra Bible handy to help give them strength through the tough time of being stranded. Verses on perseverance are helpful to read in times of despair. The Bible also gives the person something to do to keep their mind off from the danger they are in when emergencies hit.
Alternative Power Source

Besides keeping a flashlight and extra batteries handy, it is also important to have an extra power source like a jump pack or 12-volt battery. The battery pack can be used to give the car a jump in cold weather to help keep people warm. The alternative power source can also serve to power cell phones to call for help. Another advantage of having an alternative power source is the ability to use it to create a spark to make a fire for warmth. The fire that can be created from the jump pack can also be used to signal for help in case there are no cell signals.
Warm Clothing and Blankets

Another set of items to keep in a vehicle in case of being stranded are extra blankets, coats, gloves, hats, and scarves. People who are travelling in the winter or in places where the temperatures drop in the night should always have warm items to protect them from hypothermia. Clothing can be layered for comfort and warmth while waiting for help. Every person should have at least one warm blanket ready in case of emergencies.

Keeping an emergency kit in the trunk lets people travel with ease. People never know when they may get stranded in an area where there is very little or no help nearby. Items in the emergency kit should be stored in a cool, dry container like a large storage tote. Using large Ziplock bags for clothing storage is a good way to protect items in case of a flood or a leak in the trunk.

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72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation.com

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of getting to know the owner of GraphixStation.com through email. Over the years, they have created all of the logos for the Prepared Christian blog, facebook and twitter pages, as well as the Preparedness Club. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want but don’t do a very good job expressing it. They knock it out of the park every single time!

I recently got an email with a .pdf attachment containing a very nice looking 72 Hour Bug Out Bag List. The email said that after so many friends and family asked what should go in one, they made this list so they could just hand it out! What a fantastic idea! I have been given permission to hand it out to all of you!

You might need to tweak the list but, for the most part, I think it is pretty solid. It being in .pdf form means you can print it, download it or email it to loved ones who can benefit.

72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation

To download the 72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation, right click on the link or the image, and “save file/target as”.

If you are ever in need of graphics design work, I cannot recommend GraphixStation highly enough! Fellow Prepared Christian and very talented!

Entertainment Kit

Before I get to todays topic, I have a quick personal update. As many of you know, I have been unemployed for quite some time. I was just offered a position doing something very similar to what my last job was. Because the job is so specialized, and because I have previous experience, they offered me 12% more salary then what I asked for.

I know many of you have been praying for me over the last year. I want to let you know how much I appreciate you! I thank God for this position opening up and for all of you.

Entertainment Kit

“RSN”, an active Prepared Christian Forum member, made a thread on the forums that she called Holiday and disaster doldrums pick-me-up’s. It’s about some different things she keeps on hand for entertainment just in case the stuff hits the fan. I think this is a fantastic idea, and thought it would make a good post! At first glance, it might not make sense to have fun things to do when life throws us a curveball. I would argue that it is when we need these things the most!

Depending on how things are going sideways, there could be a significant amount of downtime. If you don’t have something to soak up that downtime, you run the risk of dwelling on the situation and compounding the negativity you feel.

I made it through two 6 month cruises through the Gulf on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and even when things weren’t falling apart, having downtime with nothing to do makes the time crawl by. I can’t even begin to count the number of Hearts and Spades games I played.

Having things to keep people of all ages occupied is important. Entertained children are not going to be as focused on what is going on, which in turn should decrease their fear.

Here are some things you might consider.

Pocket Bible
Decks of cards
Books on how to play various card games
Board games for multiple ages
Pens, pencils, crayons and paper
Tinker Toy’s
Yard games
Word finds
Art and Craft things to do
Hand held electronic games, with extra batteries.

You get the idea! I think having a deck of cards and a travel game or two stuffed in a BOB is a great idea, just in case you’re forced to bug out.

When I am stressed, having something to do that engages my mind can often help me calm down, and help clear my head. In turn, it helps me think clearly when I go back to what it was that was stressing me out to begin with. I personally get bored easily and even more so when there is a lot of stress. I strongly recommend having a variety of things to do!

I would love to hear your ideas of things to add to an Entertainment Kit!

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Preparedness Tip: Light’s Out Kit

Power outages happen; from severe weather, too much demand on the system or even fluke things like scheduled maintenance (haha). Having a “lights out” kit stocked with items for such an occurrence can make power outages much easier to deal with. I learned this the hard way. I had all of the items, just not all in one location or in one designated kit.

There are several commercial kits available but I have found that you can often build a better kit for less than the commercial price. The approach I like to use for building kits of any kind is to assure the five basic human needs are met. Here are some of the items that you might want to store in your lights out kit.



For most power outages the duration will be short. However, having water bottles on hand for such an event can’t hurt. Just be sure to rotate them with the rest of your water.

There is also plenty of water in your hot water heater if needed.


If you don’t have a generator, depending on how long the outage might be, you might want to eat any perishable food from your fridge. You can also refer to how to keeping food cold without electricity.

Many of your canned goods are precooked and can be eaten cold. You can heat them with a grill, camp stove or oven if your natural gas is unaffected.

Don’t forget the manual can opener.


The shelter you have should be sufficient. However, if the outage is in the middle of winter, you may want to take precautions to make sure your family can stay warm. Blankets of any kind are good, wool blankets are even better. I have some of the small folded space blankets in my kits but honestly I’m not a huge fan of them. They have been found to tear on the fold lines as they age. Another alternative is a version of something a friend showed me. It’s the Space All Weather Blanket. They are more durable, thicker and more expensive. I think I’ll be buying some of these very soon (I should have already).

Keeping cool in the summer without the AC is a must as well. Having a spray bottle to fill with water and a few bandanas can be useful.

If a storm is the reason you are without power, you’ll want to make sure your structure isn’t a danger to your security.
Having some emergency cash on hand could pay for a hotel room if needed.


Having batteries on hand can serve many purposes. I know many people store them in the fridge to extend the life (I have heard that it does work, but don’t know for sure).

A flashlight is a must. I recommend keeping the batteries for it in a Ziploc bag and attaching it with a rubber band to the flashlight, this will prolong the battery life.

A shake flashlight is also another good idea. We have a few of these and while the light isn’t the greatest, it’s enough to move around safely.

Glow sticks are another option.

I’m not sure where to put a weather radio, so I’m just going to put it here. We have two different types and I’m reviewing them both tomorrow. We keep one Reecom R-1630 Weather Alert Radio in the master bedroom and one in the basement. We also have a few MIDLAND HH50 Pocket Weather Radio. These are great and are cheap enough to keep one in the BOB and one in the lights out kit.

A candle and matches can be stored as well and a few of them can heat a small room surprisingly well. Just be careful, it is a fire hazard. If you don’t use candles on a regular basis, use extra caution.


I covered making sure you’re not in danger from storm damage.
If a blackout goes on through the night, there might be a spike in crime. Plan accordingly.
Have things on hand for entertainment. This is more for your sanity than anything else. Crosswords, word finds, decks of cards, board games, books, etc. You get the idea.


Here is a list without my $.02
Bottled water (make sure to rotate)
Manual can opener
Canned goods from pantry (make sure to rotate)
Blankets (all weather or otherwise)
Water spray bottle
Emergency cash
Batteries of various types that you use (make sure to rotate)
Flashlight; battery, shake, wind up
Glow sticks
Weather radio

If you think of any other items that that would be good to include, please add them to the comment section.


Trudee’s Tactical Purse

(Today’s article was written by my wife Trudee.)

I have been discouraged by the gun holster options available to women.  The purse idea works best for me but if Mr. Dirtbag steals my purse, he gets my gun too.  Not to mention the awkward drawing from a purse.  It’s something we have to train for should that be where we decide to carry our firearms, ladies.

All that being said, I decided that a cross-body purse would be my best option for retention.  Yes, the straps can still be cut but I’m likely to feel that fairly quickly, since my situational awareness is engaged and I’m alert.  Much more of the strap comes into contact with the body in a cross-body purse as well, creating a more secure option.

I had been carrying concealed in a regular purse, purchased at JCPenney.  I had been using an inside pocket for concealment.  After repeated drawing drills, I realized that this was just not practical.  There was NO way I was getting my gun out quietly or quickly if I needed it. 

Sears.  That’s where I was.  I stopped there to pick up a new grill cover since ours didn’t do so well over the winter.  While I was there, I decided to browse their cross-body purse options.  I found one.  I had my regular purse with me.  And my gun was in it.  I don’t know about your state but here in Minnesota, there isn’t ANY way I’d have gotten away with taking my gun out of one purse and putting it into one I hadn’t paid for yet.  I had to use my imagination to decide if I thought one of this purses’ outer pockets would conceal my Glock 19 well enough.  I decided it was worth a shot.

I paid for the grill cover and this new “gun holster” and headed home, excited about what I might be able to accomplish with this purse that I hadn’t been able to with any of the others. 

I’m no seamstress.  I can fix a button and have recently learned to darn wool socks.  I cross stitch and crochet, sometimes latch hook.  That’s the extent of my “yarn and thread” experience.  I was nervous about how I’d get my purse holster attached.  It has hook and loop (Velcro) on either side of the holster itself, so I knew that it would involve somehow attaching more hook and loop to the inner lining of the purse.  I was prepared to 1earn how to sew the hook and loop into the purse, regardless of the work it might be for such a novice.  It turns out that 3M makes an adhesive hook and loop “tape” that actually sticks to cloth!! Imagine my amazement and excitement!!

I experimented a little bit, hoping not to waste very much.  It worked!!!  My holster now sits in an open pocket of my new cross-body purse!  One of the two front pockets holds my pepper spray and my tactical flashlight.  The pepper spray is attached to the purse via the paracord keychain I made.  These things are designed to distract while I draw.  Chris tells me he’s impressed with my “tactical purse”.  That’s a big deal to me, since he’s the preparedness guy around here. 

You don’t have to go to Sears to find the purse, I found the Relic Organizer Crossbody Purse available at Amazon in multiple colors, much to Chris’ chagrin.

The flashlight is a 5.11 Atac Plx Pen Light Blk and the pepper spray is Cold Steel Inferno .38 oz pepper spray

What is Caching?

Have you ever heard of caching?  I don’t mean geo caching, which is somewhat similar, but not quite the same thing.  Caching is most often burying supplies in a water proof container in a low traffic area in the event you might need them in a future emergency.
Why Would Someone Cache?

I can think of a couple different reasons; first let’s say that you own a few widgets and you think that someday someone might make widget ownership illegal.  You might decide that you think you won’t want to give up your right to own widgets and decide to bury them as a method of hiding them.  Another reason you might cache is to use it as a resupply source.  If you have a BOL (Bug Out Location) and think you may have to walk to it, you might find strategic points along the route where you might need to resupply and bury a cache there.
 Where Should Someone Cache

The goal is to have it not be found except by you.  If you decide to cache, you’ll want to do so in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic and is not easily seen.  For example, if you are going to put a cache near a popular hiking trail, you’ll want to bury the cache a good distance from the trail.  You’ll also want to take into consideration what is around the area you decide to cache.  If you’re in the middle of a large forest, then you’re probably safe.  But if you’re near a housing development, you might find your cache built over if the development expands.
While it is possible to cache under water, I don’t recommend it.  First it’s not easy, you have to weigh the container down and possibly tie it to an anchor of some sort.  Second you have to be absolutely sure the container won’t leak.  You can use materials that are waterproof and apply caulking to keep water out, but can you guarantee it will last for years?  Third, if the water table lowers, your cache could be seen and looted. Fourth, retrieving it quickly could be difficult, especially if you live in an area where the water freezes.

What should Someone Put in a Cache?

This would depend on why the individual would be caching.  Some ideas that I have are foods that do not go bad, such as honey, rice, pasta that has been stored in Mylar with O2 absorbers and a means to purify water.  One might also want to cache something to make fire, a small first aid kit, a firearm and some ammo, a knife, some currency such as dollars and maybe gold or silver.

Keep in mind that the goal here is for this cache to never be found.  That does not mean it never will be. Do NOT put anything in the cache that you cannot afford to lose.
How Should Someone Cache?

I have seen various tubes designed for caching.  They can be quite expensive.  PVC with end caps is much less expensive and works just as well if you use sealant on both ends.

Thoroughly document where you have placed the cache.  If you look for it even a year later, the area will have most likely grown over. 

Have a means to unearth your cache stored nearby as you cannot be certain that you will be able to bring a shovel with you on your return trip.  Hiding it in plain site could prove very tricky, so maybe bury it a foot or six inches below the surface.

Take a “plug” of topsoil containing grass and set it aside, dig the hole and put the cache in place.  Now put dirt over the cache and then replace the “plug”.  Have a plan for what you will do with all of the dirt you just displaced, leaving it there is a pretty good calling card.  If you take the extra dirt with you, with the “plug” back in its original place, this might nicely conceal the cache.

I cannot stress enough to be very careful where you choose to cache.  I have read stories of people going back to retrieve their cache and finding an empty container.  I have also seen stories in forums where someone found a cache while hiking.

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Car Kit

When making any kit a good approach is to make sure you have the five basics covered; water, food, shelter, security and energy. There might be an item that could (or should) be in another group, and I am sure I missed an item or two.  There might also be items here that don’t make sense for you. Just use this as a guide for building the kit that meets your needs.

I carry a lot of gear in my car, mostly because my car is usually where I am. I store the gear in a GHB (Get Home Bag) and in a plastic storage bin.  Some of this gear is only in the care because of the GHB and it is not necessarily just for the car kit.


  • Metal coffee can (can be used to melt snow and to heat up water with candle, could also be used as a shovel if needed. You can also store food stuffs inside as to save space.)
  • Half full water container (half full to provide room for freezing)
  • Filtered sport water bottle
  • Water purification tablets (not photographed)


  • Bouillon cubes
  • Hard candy that won’t melt
  • Power bars
  • MRE
  • Emergency bar


  • Flares
  • Ice scraper
  • Small tool kit
  • Goggles (to keep rain or wind out of your eyes)
  • Wool blanket
  • 4-way tire iron (I won’t carry any other kind, this is a must IMHO)
  • Metal Folding Shovel
  • Tarp
  • Garbage bag(‘s)
  • Emergency blanket
  • Para cord (this is hard to see, but it’s a 100ft section in between the flares and the garbage bags)
  • Fix A Flat
  • Jumper Cables
  • Map (not photographed)
  • Jack (not photographed)
  • Shemagh (not photographed)


  • Flag rag (color should stand out, if you live in the south white may be good. In Minnesnowta white isn’t a good choice, so blaze orange it is.)
  • Heavy-Duty Leather Work Gloves
  • Safety Reflective Vest
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Emergency Hammer (there are many types, as long as it has the metal tip for breaking a window and the ability to cut through a seat belt, it should be fine. Try to find a place within reach of the driver’s seat to keep it; I keep mine in the door pocket.)
  • Glow sticks
  • Whistle (I have recently heard of this extremely loud whistle called Storm and Windstorm whistles, they claim it can be heard ½ a mile away. I’ll be getting a few of these at some point. Good for waking the kids when they over sleep haha)
  • Walking shoes (this is a must, especially for my women readers who wear fashionable shoes for work. Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car kit.)
  • First Aid kit
  • Poncho
  • 3M N95 mask (These have a respirator and will keep glasses from fogging up.)


  • Headlamp (great to keep the hands free, if you need to work under the hood or change a tire.)
  • Flashlight (I keep a shake light in my kit, no worrying if the batteries are good.
  • Candles (if you’re stranded and need to shelter in your car, a candle can heat up a small area relatively well, just make sure to crack a window now and again for fresh air.)
  • Lighter

What other items do you carry as a part of your car kit?

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Altoids Tin or Mini Kit

Every year I see at least one story about someone sliding off the road and into a ravine or getting lost in the mountains or some other unfortunate act.  These people are often found alive, days or sometimes weeks later.  Many are not so fortunate.  It was one of these stories that got me carrying what I call a mini kit in our vehicles.  This was actually an article I had planned on writing later this fall.  That is until I saw this story about a California man survives after his car plunges 200

“La Vau, 68, said he survived for six days after the crash by eating bugs and leaves and drinking water from a creek. He said he spent nights in his wrecked car and his days outside, yelling for help every 30 minutes or so. He could hear cars on the road above him, but none stopped.”

There was another car not far from Mr. La Vau, that driver had crashed two weeks prior and was only found because Mr. La Vau was.

I carry other gear in my car but this kit is kept in my console and is, in large part, supplemental.  The stories I mentioned above are the reason I carry it at all.  One of the stories involves a woman who had her pelvis broken and was stuck in the driver seat, this is why I keep the kit withing reach of the driver seat, console or glove box should be ok.

      • Altoids tin is the container for the mini kit
    • Tinfoil; I think it’s 12” x 12”.  This can be used to catch rain, boil water or make a fancy hat (LOL).
    • Lighter and matches for making fire.  If you have your battery, you have another way to make fire.  (the matches are “strike anywhere” , I think they changed the makeup of these, they used to light if you gave them a dirty look, I couldn’t get these to light on anything short of the strike plate.)
    • Cotton balls with some Vaseline; these are fantastic for starting a fire.  If you plan to use this, spend some time making sure they’ll light.  I did and found I was using too much Vaseline and the flame wouldn’t hold.  I actually pulled this kit out and tried to use the cotton and a flint to start a fire, the Vaseline had dried out.  Lesson learned; check all kits yearly, not just the BOB’s.  (Dryer lint or char cloth are also good here.)
    • Razor blade; I always carry a pocket knife, but I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
    • I also carry a small fishing kit, a few hooks, sinkers and 25 or so feet of line.  In one of these stories I read that a man was stranded near a lake and could see small fish, with no way to catch them. 
  •  One item I just thought of as I am writing this that I need to add is a whistle. Yelling can quickly wear you out and do a number on your throat, while blowing a whistle all day long takes next to no effort, just ask my neighbor kid.

Here is a good article from ield and Stream that shows make a Survival Kit out of an Altoids Tin

Here is a picture of how I keep the kit in my car.

    • $.99 first aid kit (you can supplement this with some meds)
    • Cheap knife; my thought or this is to be able to cut the seatbelt if needed.
  • I might wrap a section of Para-cord around these two instead of the rubber band, that would give a good length of rope.

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BOB (Bug Out Bag) or 3 day kit list

BOB (Bug Out Bag) or 3 day kit list

I see BOB’s as a bag that is used to either get to the BOL or support you for three days away from home. Where those three days are spent is going to determine the gear you plan on bringing as will the season that you might be in. If you plan on hoofing it and spending three days in the outdoors, weight is going to be a huge factor. If you plan on BO to a hotel and staying there for three days, weight isn’t as big of a deal. It should still be kept as light as possible just in case you need to carry it for any length of time.

As I mentioned in “Bugging Out or Battening Down” , I think everyone should have a BOB. There could always be an event in which you only have time to grab it and go. With that in mind, here is a simple list of items you might want to include in your BOB.

Keep in mind that if you have a family, each person will not need every piece of this gear. There are some pieces of gear that a family will only need one of.

This is not a comprehensive list, it is meant as starting point, to give you ideas. Change this list to fit you and your family.

Clothing will vary the most, depending on the season and the region where you live.
Undergarments 3 pair
Thermal underwear 1 (seasonal)
Socks 3 pair, if cold climate then 3 additional wool pairs
T-shirt 3 pair
Long sleeve shirt 1-2, even if in a warmer climate as this will protect against the sun
Sweatshirt 1
Jeans or cargo pants 2-3
Shorts 1-2
Seasonal jacket 1
Bandanas 2-3 (many uses)
Watch cap 1
Shoes or boots 1 these need to be trusted. A blister or rolled ankle and you’re done.
Heavy-duty belt. 1
Poncho 1
Sun glasses 1
Leather work gloves 1
Shemagh 1 (Used for head wrap, scarf or even a sling)
Ball cap 1 (any type of hat to keep the sun off of your face)

I recommend having some basic gear to make shelter in the outdoors, just in case.
Small tent 1
Small tarp 1
Sleeping bag 1 (rated for climate in your region)
Paracord 100’
Contractor trash bags 2-3 (many uses, including placing your BOB in it to waterproof)
Food and water

Here are some ideas on what you could bring.
Means to purify water, here are some suggestions from The Storage, Filtration And Purification Of Water
Mountain House pouches
Beef Jerky
Mixed nuts
Trail Mix or GORP
Dehydrated veggies for soups
MRE’s, lifeboat rations
Your favorite mixed spices
Collapsible 5-gallon water container
Canteen or Guyot Designs Stainless Steel Water Bottle (I prefer metal containers (no BPA)
Hard plastic plate and cup
Small bottle of dish soap
Fork, knife, spoon

Fixed blade knife
Folding knife
Flashlight or headlamp
Cooking pot
Water proof matches, lighter or another means to make a spark
Cotton ball mixed with Vaseline or char-cloth, for tinder
Small sewing kit
Hunting / Security

There are plenty of arguments on this subject, the great “One Gun” debate. I think you bring what you have and what you are trained with. If weight isn’t a concern, I would recommend a handgun, a rifle and a shotgun as well as a .22 and 100 rounds for each, maybe more for the .22.

We have four dogs, so each of us has a mini BOB attached to our BOB that has pet supplies in it.
A travel carrier or kennel might be a good idea, less chance of them getting loose.
Extra collar and leash
Prescription meds
dog food
a length of rope for a dog run might be a good idea as well.

Prescription Medications
Basic First Aid kit
Cortisone cream
Sun block
Bath towel
Insect repellent
Toilet paper
Important papers, license Ect
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Liquid soap
Wet wipes
Cash in small denominations.
Epipen if needed
Duct tape
Feminine products
Fishing pole and tackle
Small New Testament
Small notebook
Map of area
Trial size shampoo
Special Needs

I once saw an Autistic boy that was very attached to a certain type of eyeglass case. In a situation like this, there should be an identical item in the boys BOB. If the person with special needs is unable to carry their BOB you can mitigate this with a Folding Hand Truck.
The Bag Itself

I don’t think you need to spend a huge sum on the bag itself unless you do a lot of hiking and camping. You also don’t want to buy the cheapest bag you can find either. I paid $35-$50 for military surplus bags. If you go with military surplus, make sure they are in good repair, no holes, no broke or missing buckles.
Other resources

There are more sites out there than I can count that touch on this subject. Here is one site that only deals with BOB’s and BO called “Bug Out Survival”. The owner has also written a book called “Bug Out”. This website gets much more in depth and might be of interest if you want to explore the subject more.

Minimus is a great resource for lightweight, travel and individual wrapped items.

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