October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm #25873
All of us here understand the importance of preparing for scenarios, but trying to convince those with their heads buried sometimes feels like an exercise in futility. While I have an emergency backpack in the trunk of my car in case I get stuck on the road or at work, convincing some family members to do the same was met with cynicism (as I’m sure some of you have experienced). I figured out a little trick to make sure they have the essentials if they are ever stuck in a bind, while masking the true nature of what it really is.
Everyone I know occasionally has to drive through some really bad areas of Detroit. We see the Homeless, and it’s a widely known fact that there aren’t nearly enough shelters. Instead of giving money I give “comfort bags” that I keep in my back seat: reusable and water-resistant shopping bags I purchase in bulk and are filled with:
A bottle of water
2 individual-sized snacks (peanut butter crackers, cookies, granola bar, etc)
1 protein (usually the canned chicken/crackers lunch kits with mayo, relish, etc)
Plastic fork, spoon and knife rolled into a paper napkin, secured with a rubber band
Small first aid kit (the ones at the travel section of Walmart are $1)
Mylar blanket (I get them in bulk on Amazon)
3mil contractor trash bag, rolled and secured with a rubber band (makes a GREAT waterproof poncho)
Bar of soap (I travel for work a lot, and always take the hotel minis)
Travel-size lotion and shampoo (again, from hotels)
Individual package of tissues (can double as toilet paper)
New pair of socks
Travel Toothbrush and toothpaste
A couple small ziplock freezer bags to store toiletries
In bags for women, tampons.
By buying in bulk the total cost of the bags themselves is less than $10 each, and every person I’ve given them to has been delighted (with a lack of any grocery stores, most of those things are hard to come by in Detroit). It got me thinking that people I love could also benefit by not just giving them away, but in a real emergency they would be able to use the contents. When I gave three of these people one of the bags to keep in their car, the usual cynicism VANISHED since they saw the idea for what it is: emergency relief for someone who desperately needs it.
I’m very happy to report that the three people have not only given away their bags, but made multiples of their own to store in their cars. It really makes me happy to know that not only are they doing something good for their fellow man, but in any crisis situation they are fully aware that they have supplies to use. If you run across a loved one that is staunchly resistant to having an emergency cache in their vehicle, try this!October 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm #25878
Amanda your a genius!October 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm #25890
Amanda this is a great way to have them prepared. One thing I have my wife have is walking shoes since she is at work with dress shoes which are not very good for long walks.October 2, 2014 at 4:57 pm #25897
Very smart idea. A few years back I gave my wife, son, daughter & her hubby bug out bags for Christmas to put in their vehicles. My son still carries that bag or one of his own creation but I don’t think the rest still carry them. 1 out of 4 is better than none I suppose. My wife is very recently awakening a bit to the reality of the world however and so I’ll see where that goes.October 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm #25908
I just started collecting things to prepare bug out bags for my husband and myself. A friend gave us some things that included a couple of old army shirts and long johns. My husband had intended to use the shirts to work in but I nabbed them up and when he asked me why I told him it’s for our bug out bags. He just looked at me for a couple of seconds then said, “okay”, if you say so”.
LovelyNightBirdOctober 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm #25923
It is good to start by simply convincing family to have a permanent first aid kit in their vehicles. (And one in the house!)
It strange that nobody ever think it is strange to have a bag for a baby with extra clothes and food and even medicine. You will have clean clothes in the vehicle for even yourself having a toddler.
Remember to take the basic bob with you if you quickly jump from your vehicle into someone else’s. I know of a very prepared guy who got stuck next to the road in winter … thinking about his bag in the boot of his own vehicle – that had the extra clothes, food ..October 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm #26055
Very good Amanda, thanks.
I also think Leopard that starting small is very good, like convincing folks in idea of having first aid kit, and to know how to use it.
It is easier to build from something small and familiar.
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