What do you keep in your emergency kit?

This is a discussion on What do you keep in your emergency kit? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So I've been wanting some kind of emergency kit for my car. I've looked online and I can only find two different types. Some kinds ...

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Thread: What do you keep in your emergency kit?

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    What do you keep in your emergency kit?

    So I've been wanting some kind of emergency kit for my car. I've looked online and I can only find two different types. Some kinds are essentially first aid kits only, while others are more or less tool kits with jumper cables, etc.

    Well, I'm not really looking for either. I want something that fits easily in the back hatch of the car and includes things that one might need during an emergency. For example, lets say I'm out in traffic and a blizzard comes through and traffic is stopped for an entire day. Or I'm run off the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Or who knows.. It is the situations I can't plan for that I am thinking about here.

    So I've decided to make my own kit. I bought a really large pistol case today. It is made of hard plastic, and filled with foam. Now, when I say large, this thing advertised it could hold 4 pistols. I imagine I could fit quite a few more than that in there, to be honest. This thing is almost like a small suitcase. My plan is to cut the foam (or maybe even substitute a harder foam) and cut out holes to hold all kinds of things. I want to be able to open the top of this thing and have all of the objects easily accessible, yet everything will be held in place very snug by form-fitting foam. In other words, I didn't want something like a duffel bag where I'd have to dig around inside to find the different things.

    Here are the things I'm planning to put in this thing so far:
    • LED flashlight
    • crescent wrench
    • pliers
    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • several 8-oz bottles of water
    • small first aid kit
    • medicine container
    • emergency blanket or two
    • small 2-way radios
    • small weather radio
    • batteries
    • pepper spray
    • Some kind of knife
    • Some kind of food
    • Matches or cigarette lighter (which is safer?)

    One of the goals is to make sure all of the items use the same battery type so that the spare batteries will power any of those things. The water should be okay as long as it doesn't freeze. Being that everything, including the bottles of water, will be surrounded by foam I think the vehicle would have to be in sub-freezing temperatures for quite some time before the water would freeze and even then I'm not sure those plastic bottles would rupture. Likewise, whatever type of food I put in there would need to survive the possibility of the car being 150 degrees inside during the summer.

    Also, before somebody suggests it, jumper cables would be fairly pointless for my vehicle.

    So what else can you think of that I might have forgotten?
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    From what I've been reading about Texas and the potential dust storms due to the drought, a respirator, goggles, and sterile eyewash solution might not be a bad idea.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Member Array hobie16's Avatar
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    Just got out of work and don't feel like thinking so I'm not goin to tell u any ideas of what to add but good idea. I've been worrking on my bug out bag but need something similar to yours. They are also called a ghb, get home bag. I would go matches and lighter,, both small anyways and not sure what u mean by safer
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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobie16 View Post
    Just got out of work and don't feel like thinking so I'm not goin to tell u any ideas of what to add but good idea. I've been worrking on my bug out bag but need something similar to yours. They are also called a ghb, get home bag. I would go matches and lighter,, both small anyways and not sure what u mean by safer
    What I meant was, when the car gets very hot on summer days, do either pose any sort of safety risk?
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    What I meant was, when the car gets very hot on summer days, do either pose any sort of safety risk?
    Matches are safer. The old Zippo type lighters have a problem with the fuel evaporating. Butane lighters will explode if it gets hot enough. Found that out when I tossed one on the dashboard of my truck and forgot about it. Fortunately, I wasn't in the truck when it blew up. Just came back to pieces of lighter all over the cab.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    With those possible high 150 degree temperatures your choices are DATREX Food Bars or the offerings by MayDay - search Ebay for survival food bars and emergency food bars.
    Personally I think the DATREX are the better of the two.

    Water will always be #1 on your list for all scenarios. I would keep at least a couple of gallons of DISTILLED water separate for your kit and I would not store water in your kit.

    The best matches are by STORMPROOF if it's matches that you want to store.

    "What I meant was, when the car gets very hot on summer days, do either pose any sort of safety risk?"

    answer: No. Though you might just want to buy a Blastmatch & be done with it.

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    Is a blizzard really a concern in Texas? I'd include on of those fat burns forever candle, and maybe some flares
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    Matches are safer. The old Zippo type lighters have a problem with the fuel evaporating. Butane lighters will explode if it gets hot enough. Found that out when I tossed one on the dashboard of my truck and forgot about it. Fortunately, i wasn't in the truck when it blew up. Just came back to pieces of lighter all over the cab.
    Not that the Mythbusters are the end all to scientific investigation though, they tried to get butane lighters to explode under the circumstances you describe; and, they could not reproduce the results you describe. I agree with the zippo fuel evaporating.

    To the water bottle question experiment with one in your freezer; then, you will know.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    I have heard that tampons make for good firstaid hole plugs in the case of a shooting. of cource that does not apply to sucking chest wounds.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Is a blizzard really a concern in Texas? I'd include on of those fat burns forever candle, and maybe some flares
    +1 on the candles. A good emergency paraffin candle can heat a car interior enough to keep you warm if stranded in the winter. It will not melt when stored in the car during the summer either.

    Michael

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    My daily driver is a 19-yeasr old car with 250K miles. I have a military tool bag in the back with enough tools to perform repairs up to a timing belt change - i.e., tools are covered. Jumper cables there as well.

    I live in the desert so there is always at least a quart of potable water in the car, usually more.

    Other stuff always in the car:

    pepper spray
    folding knife
    mirror
    50' or more of 3/8 braided nylon line
    Wool blanket
    2 space blankets
    at least 1 flashlight, usually 2, with spare batteries for each
    band-aids and some gauze pads
    butane lighter and matches (New England roots die hard)
    roll of toilet paper
    wet-naps or similar foil-wrapped sanitary wipes
    shop rags
    HD paper towels
    crushable broad-brim hat
    collapsible water bowl (for the dogs)
    cotton gloves, HD work gloves, cold-weather gloves
    at least one box of ammo for 5.56 and .40 or .45

    Most of this fits in a flat storage area under the floor of my wagon, and probably weighs less than 25 pounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    Matches are safer. The old Zippo type lighters have a problem with the fuel evaporating. Butane lighters will explode if it gets hot enough. Found that out when I tossed one on the dashboard of my truck and forgot about it. Fortunately, I wasn't in the truck when it blew up. Just came back to pieces of lighter all over the cab.
    Huh. I keep one in my glove box nearly all the time, and this summer was the hottest in a decade of more here in the Phoenix area. No explosions yet.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    Not that the Mythbusters are the end all to scientific investigation though, they tried to get butane lighters to explode under the circumstances you describe; and, they could not reproduce the results you describe. I agree with the zippo fuel evaporating.

    To the water bottle question experiment with one in your freezer; then, you will know.
    Something made a lighter spontaneously disintegrate in my truck leaving pieces of plastic from one end of the cab to the other. I assumed that it was being on a black dashboard on a hot summer day with the sun shining through the windshield. Maybe it was just a defective lighter. For what it's worth, it was one of those cheap lighters that they used to give you when you bought a carton of cigarettes. What brand of lighter was "Mythbusters" trying to blow up?
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    By the way, the folks at Mythbusters might want to read the following petition to the Consumer Product Safety Commission from a trade group supposedly representing lighter manufacturers.
    Here's a small excerpt if you don't want to wade through the whole thing....

    In Report
    20 (H0070063A), a lighter exposed to a temperature of approximately 85 degrees reportedly
    shattered into many small pieces. Report 21 (H0070088A) indicates that a lighter in an open
    console in a car with windows down in 70 degree weather exploded


    http://www.lighterassociation.org/in...c_petition.pdf
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    By the way, the folks at Mythbusters might want to read the following petition to the Consumer Product Safety Commission from a trade group supposedly representing lighter manufacturers.
    Here's a small excerpt if you don't want to wade through the whole thing....

    In Report
    20 (H0070063A), a lighter exposed to a temperature of approximately 85 degrees reportedly
    shattered into many small pieces. Report 21 (H0070088A) indicates that a lighter in an open
    console in a car with windows down in 70 degree weather exploded


    http://www.lighterassociation.org/in...c_petition.pdf
    Gene, sorry, I did not mean to imply that it did not happen to you rather that the incident was likely an absolute freak occurance. As for the brand the Mythbuster tested I have no recollection, I saw that episode several years ago. I think the report you attached bears out, that there are limited instances where this has happened and some of those involve refilled/overfilled lighters. I wonder how much the UV degradation of the plastic body of the lighter plays a role in this type of accident.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

    Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

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