While driving home one night, I noticed a truck stopped on the side of the road and a flashlight flickering next to it. Watching the source of the light eventually allowed me to see the man carrying it. I thought to myself, “That man should have a reflective vest on so no one hits him. He’s hard to see.” I’m sure he was being careful, of course, and a person would have to be really off track to have hit him being as he was standing next to a semi tractor-trailer, but still, it just seems like it would have been safer were he more easily visible.

Of course, this got me thinking about my own emergency supplies. Living in Minnesota, we are encouraged to keep a hefty list of supplies in our cars for winter emergencies — things like boots, blankets, extra coats, mittens and hats, food, water, matches and a can for melting snow, or thawing out the water that you have so faithfully stored. You know, practical things like that which will only take up half of your trunk space. I’m not entirely certain how many Minnesotans travel with all of these supplies. Personally, I might throw a pair of boots in the car if it’s REALLY cold but, most of the time, I am ill-prepared for being stuck on the side of the road in a blizzard for two days straight. Of course, that’s probably because I make it a point not to venture too far from home when a storm is on the horizon.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of situations that can happen while driving that a person should be prepared for, including flat tires, accidents, and the ever-present possibility of emergency baby deliveries. You never know. Anyway, like I said, all of my thinking about emergencies had me doing a little assessment of what I had available in my car for times of need. And I have to say; I’m pretty well stocked.

My supplies include:

  • 2 umbrellas – Because if a rainstorm catches me off guard, I want to be prepared to cover myself and whoever might be traveling with me.

  • 2 rain ponchos – OK, I might be a little over-prepared for rain.

  • Coleman Ilumisticks – I’m not sure if or how they are different from flares, but I figure if I get a flat tire in the middle of the night, they could aid the auto service guy in finding my car.

  • Tweezers – Because errant chin hairs have been known to sprout immediately upon my departure from home.

  • Extra mascara – I’m pretty sure my stash could cause eye infections at this point, but some days I look in the mirror and just plain need some help.

  • Small scissors – You have no idea how handy they are, like on the way home from the grocery store when there is a bag of Kettle Corn that refuses to open. It can be an emergency – trust me! The scissors can also be used (though not as effectively) to deal with errant chin hairs should the tweezers go AWOL. You can never be over-prepared for errant chin hair issues.

  • Flashlight – Because my husband insists that this is a good idea. Who wants to bet on the fact that it’ll have dead batteries on the day I need to use it?

  • Hand towels – Why not? There are quite a few compartments in my car, and towels are handy for all sorts of things – spills, messy grandchildren (or children) faces, and my personal favorite, lap coverage for the times when my car turns into a fine dining establishment.

  • Energy bar – To be totally honest, I need to refill. I’ll not name names, but someone borrowed my car a few months ago and she was hungry – she had good cause. And being sure of my emergency preparedness skills, she was able to find said energy bar after searching the various compartments.

  • Eye glass cleaner – Because my husband is an eye doctor and is pretty fastidious about his glasses.

  • And finally, Kleenex – Because the glass cleaner is useless without it and well, a person just needs a tissue now and again.

I may not have a reflective vest, or a first aid kit, but hey, if you’re having a baby and I happen to be driving by, there will be a towel handy. Granted, it may have a little ketchup stain here and there, but I’ll have it. For any other event, I’ve got a cell phone and an emergency roadside service plan through my insurance company. That should do it.