Friday, July 20, 2012

Emergency Car Kit - Puerto Rico Style!

Just yesterday I reached for my emergency car kit for some socks wasn't there. It was in the house waiting to be photographed for this post! We went diving and as we were suiting up I remembered the bloody ant bite on my heel. I reached for my box and it wasn't there! I rummaged around the truck and did manage to find a sock and Jeff had a band aid in his car so I could do the dive without my fin rubbing the spot raw. That brings me to the subject of this post - the emergency car kit. This is not a kit like you need in the states, you know, water, flares, blanket, food, matches, fire extinguisher etc etc. Nope. The emergencies you encounter here are more desperate and frequent. So I have put together a kit that includes things I have been in desperate need of at one time or another. Here it is!
Everything I need fits in a 14 x 9 inch box with a little handle on top so I can move it from the truck (where it lives) to the car for our caving or more long-distance days. Some of these things may seem goofy but I tell you, it is great to have when you are in need!
So what's in it? The first thing is a baggie that has hand wipes and toilet paper in it. Bathrooms in PR are disgusting and usually have only 1 or 2 of the needed typical bathroom things in them. Slip this baggie in your pocket if you go out to eat and you will never be caught without toilet paper and when there isn't soap you are home free. We joke about "trifectas" or 'fourfectas"...bathrooms with toilet paper, paper towels, running water and soap. Unfortunately these are rare. I am not talking panaderias, I am talking big hotel bathrooms and sit-down restaurants too. But hey, the sit down 30 dollar dinner places serve their "food" on plastic plates so what can you expect? There are some drug type things I bring along. Bug spray, dramamine, aspirin, migraine meds, eye drops, sunscreen, shampoo/conditioner, anti-itch cream and a contact lens come in handy on twisty roads or when you end up doing something somewhere you hadn't intended to be. Nail clippers (helps dig out urchin spines or thorns), hair tie, band aids...all good things that are small. I have a small microfiber towel for when I get caught in rain and need to wipe my feet off. A garbage bag doubles as a rain poncho (or can be used to collect garbage).I have a pair of $5 "I Dream of Jeenie" shoes in each car (not the box) since I can rinse off after caving or diving with them on my feet since they are rubber. I have underwear, a shirt, shorts and socks so I am never caught after diving or caving without something clean.
Lastly I have some food items. After caving there usually are no places open or decent to eat. We end up eating with our friends at the roadside e-coli mobiles (my name, not theirs). Disinfectant wipes help clean the outdoor tables of car grit and dirt. I have plastic forks, spoons collected from other "restaurants" and some staples - peanut butter, crackers, canned tuna, trail mix and a small can of beans. This way when I am out-voted I have something to tide me over until we get home. My advice on roadside food? Don't do it OR eat fried things since the high temperature of the year-old oil will kill more recent bugs! So there you have it - an emergency kit for Puerto Rico. Build your own and tell me what you add that I don't have covered!


Anonymous said...

My auto-handy items are pretty standard. A small measuring tape, some clothesline (rope), pen/paper, flashlight, handiwipes. An interior matching beach towel to go over the seat if I am dirty. My car trunk tool kit came with a pair of dainty white cotton gloves now 22 years old, still pristine, that I will not wear, as they are now antiques! Wil

Fran and Steve said...

Generic first aid kit, tea tree oil (for first aid like ant bites), umbrellas, a few plastic grocery bags for either collecting garbage or fallen fruit, straw mats for impromptu beach stops, handiwipes, large beach towels plus a couple of hand towels for wiping off brow or rain, Purell, pen & pad, sunblock, a couple of reusable shopping bags. A lot of these items live in a laundry basket in the trunk, which is in itself useful. I also carry a couple of bamboo lap trays so we can enjoy coco frio in the comfort of the car without worrying about staining anything. I keep a folded paper towel in the bottom of cup holders to absorb sweat from cold drinks. Works great -- I never have puddles in the bottom of the cup holders and one paper towel holds up well over time. I need to get a scrub brush to clean off shoes. -- Fran