By popular request (ie, three inquiries) based on my last post, in which I fought a forest fire with the equipment I had in the trunk of my car.

For people who don't have a car, this would be "what do you have in your house/garage/person?" For it to be useful in case of sudden emergency, it would have to be in one place and, ideally, transportable, like in a backpack. I also have stuff in a backpack in my bedroom, and have used it. (To extract myself when I got locked into my own bedroom due to the doorknob falling off on the other side of the door, with the cell phone and laptop in the living room.)

This isn't literally what I have in my trunk right now; it's what I have had at various points. Ideally I'd have all of it. It would all fit with room to spare.

When I checked my trunk before writing this post, by the way, I found another gallon of water which I'd missed while rummaging around the other day. Note that in an emergency stuff may be hard to find, since one also uses one's trunk to transport other stuff. Make sure that anything you need to grab in a hurry is very easy to find.

You want to decide what sort of emergency you're trying to prepare for. The basic division is Apocalypse vs. Emergency. Basically, "apocalypse" is any sort of "end of civilization as we know it, or an emergency in which you will be totally without help or outside resources for more than three days." "Emergency" runs from fire to broken down by the side of the road for hours to unexpected overnight stay at someone else's house to being without outside resources for up to three days."

I am prepared for an emergency, not an apocalypse. Note that emergencies include stuff like being hungry (not starving, so you care if your emergency rations taste good), being bored (so include entertainment), sudden onset of period, not wanting to use someone else's toothbrush, etc. Hence, I do not carry MREs, canned goods, or anything else I wouldn't use or eat except in cases of total desperation. I also carry stuff that's one use only, and then would need to be replaced.

Note that my stuff assumes it won't get very cold. I live in sunny southern California, and rarely drive anywhere where it snows.

- A first aid kit and other medical/health supplies. First aid kit is supplemented with over the counter painkillers, any medications that are generally useful (like cough drops), more heavy-duty bandages than it included (can be bought at drug store), and lots of menstrual supplies. If you really needed to, you could use the latter in lieu of bandages.

- Toiletries.

- Three gallons of water. In general, assume one person needs one gallon of water per day. Brace them, or they will get banged around until they start leaking.

- A bunch of assorted paperbacks by authors I enjoy, which I have not yet read or always enjoy re-reading.

- Food which keeps well, is light, does not need equipment to open or eat, and which I like. (Jerky and granola bars, usually.) Rotate this out by eating and replacing.

- A fire extinguisher. Brace this, so it doesn't go off if you crash or hit a big bump.

- Change of clothing, shoes, old pair of glasses, a hat, extra socks and underwear.

- A blanket. Use in case of cold or shock.

- Tool kit. Include a knife and scissors.

- Some way of communicating with the outside world apart from your cell phone. A radio is good. If you can connect to the net via satellite, that may work too.

- Several flashlights and extra batteries. I recommend a Maglite, which can also be used to break glass or, in a pinch, as a weapon.

- A poncho, raincoat, or umbrella.

I've used a lot of this for minor and medium emergencies. If you have the basics, you can improvise with what you do have, such as transforming your blanket and drinking water into firefighting equipment.

Anyone ever used your emergency supplies and/or knowledge?
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