Friends, Feuds, and Emergency Roadside Kits

"I told you so!" Don't you just love it when you get the chance to say this? Especially to someone who's been bugging you since childhood. Even if you don't actually let the words slip from your lips, everyone around knows that you could say it, and that's even better! You gather the brownie points for not saying it, yet the basic fact is understood by everyone... you were right!

My friend Joe (his name has been changed to protect the 'no-so-innocent') spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to convince me that "all this emergency prepping stuff is foolishness and borders on paranoia." He thinks my emergency roadside kit is a waste of money and my insistence that my family all have survival gear in their cars is downright dumb.

He has also repeatedly made jokes at my expense, which I have borne with amazing self-control.

For our neighborhood gift exchange one Christmas, I drew Joe's name, so put quite a bit of thought into what to bestow upon my friend. 

Being a bit of a gagster at heart, I searched the internet and found exactly what I wanted: an emergency commuter kit. It consisted of a red nylon bag complete with handles, 6- 4.225 oz water pouches, a small hand powered flashlight, a solar blanket, and 1 - 2400 calorie food bar. Luckily, the cost of the commuter kit was well under the $15.00 limit set by our group.

Joe opened the package and announced its contents aloud, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "A commuter kit. For emergencies. Oh, goody."

The entire crowd laughed, as they all knew his feelings about emergency preparation. His wife, however, gave him a stern look and said, "You will keep this kit in your car!"

Now, fast forward about ten months. Our area was enduring really unusual weather, with record rainfall. Joe commutes about thirty miles to work, and of course, had steadfastly refused to put an emergency rnadside kit in his car. However, his wife had tucked my gift under his front seat and threatened to use his Mariners season tickets for her scrap booking club if he removed it.

As he was driving towards home one dark and gloomy evening, the heavens opened and rain fell with a vengeance. The highways quickly flooded making travel impossible. Stranded, Joe was forced to stay in his car until morning when help arrived.

It was with a sheepish grin that Joe later confessed, "I was mighty glad to have that commuter kit with me. It kept me warm, hydrated, and even fed during the ordeal. And, yeah, the flashlight came in handy too"

So, what's in your car? Are you ready for whatever unique challenges Mother Nature may throw at you? Do you have survival gear in your car?

Whether it be a small commuter kit with minimal supplies or a larger, more complete emergency roadside kit, it is essential that emergency supplies be within reach at all times. You never know when it might be needed.

Consider what kinds of items you'd want if, like Joe, you were stranded and had to spend the night in your car. Think basics: light, warmth, water, food and communication.

If you normally wear dress shoes to work, tuck a good pair of walking boots under your seat. A heavy coat, rain poncho, hat, gloves and an umbrella might come in handy as well. They would be invaluable if you had to walk to safety.

For those who commute via bus or train, consider at least the commuter kit mentioned above. It contains the basics that would offer comfort in an emergency, yet takes up very little room.

There are, of course, other emergency roadside kits that supply much more supplies than the small commuter kit. However, for introducing someone to the 'joys of prepping', the commuter kit is perfect. It is inexpensive, durable, and contains the basic necessities.

There's a footnote to this story. My friend Joe recently chaired a fundraiser for his son's school band. Guess what they sold? Yep. A little red bag containing a flashlight, food, water, and an emergency blanket... a commuter kit! I'm told they sold a whole bunch of them! Way to go, Joe!

I told you so!

Article Source: Mark D Featherstone

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