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A Commuter’s Guide to Car Emergency Kits

Surprisingly enough, being a commuting student has taught me more about life and its accidents than I ever could have imagined. I am a firm believer that being overly prepared is better than being under prepared. I’ve compiled a list of my car essentials and tips for what to do when life happens to rain on your driving parade.

  1. Water Jugs: It’s important to keep water bottles in your car for drinking during emergency situations, like earthquakes or fires. Water jugs are also helpful if your car overheats on the side of the freeway, as mine has plenty of times.

  2. Change of clothes: Most people keep a spare change of clothes in their car in case of emergencies. However, I’m guilty of keeping a change of clothes in my car only for fashion emergencies. Make sure to keep a good pair of walking shoes in your trunk as well, not only is it ideal for any emergency, but they’ve been useful for spur of the moment hiking trips! 

  3. Tide-to-Go: Listen, I try not to make a mess of myself but sometimes food just ends up on my clothes. Tide-to-Go has been my saving grace plenty of times and I like to keep one or two of them in my car. You’ll thank yourself for preparing for the future stains you’ll come across and your friends will thank you too.  

  4. Floss: Certain foods never fail to get stuck in your teeth. Incidentally, it can be embarrassing for people to point it out to you but keeping floss in your car will save you from this embarrassment altogether.

  5. Extra cash and coins: I always find myself in situations where I do not have cash or change and my debit card is not accepted. Luckily the emergency cash I keep in my car has saved me at the parking meter and gas stations time after time. 

  6. Ibuprofen and allergy medicine: Keep these in your car so you don’t go all day with a headache or a runny nose and itchy eyes.

  7. Flashlight: I spend too much time on campus and find myself having to walk from my car to the library or Student Union. I keep a mini flashlight for those late night walks to a study session, or again, any emergencies.

  8. Lint roller: I was always the weird kid who loved getting lint rollers in their Christmas stockings. Now I keep a few in my car, for the days where my clothes are covered in my pet’s fur.

  9. Napkins or tissues: I am notorious for spilling coffee in my car and napkins have saved my car seats from serious stains more than once. Pro-tip: grab a handful of napkins on your way out of a fast food run and stash them in your car!

  10. Hand sanitizer: Germs are the only things we should be killing.

  11. Plastic Bags: It’s always good to clear out the trash in your car but plastic bags also come in handy for car sick passengers.

  12. A blanket: Sometimes I get cold.

  13. Jumper cables: I have no clue how to work them but my Mom insists they’ll be useful one day, so listen to my Mom.

  14. Standard mini first aid kit: If I had a dollar for every time I gave myself a papercut, I’d be rich enough to pay my tuition. Grab a cute mini first aid kit from Target so you always have band aids, and whatever else they pack in them, on hand. 

  15. Lotion: Dry skin is never a good time, keep a mini tube of lotion in your glove compartment for the days that you run out of the house without putting some on.

  16. Dry shampoo: It’s never a good idea to walk around looking like you haven’t showered in two days.

  17. Hair brush: Sharing hair brushes can be risky sometimes but having your own in your car is best!

  18. Hair ties and bobby pins: Random windy days suck and not having anything to hold your hair back and out of your face is worse, stash a few of each in a Ziploc and save yourself the hassle.

  19. Gum or mints: The truth is, bad breath stinks.

  20. Snacks: It’s 2017, don’t starve yourselves. 

Hi my name is Laura Reyes! I'm majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Cal Lutheran.
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