Most of us spend a lot of time in our cars, either in them or near them, especially when away from home. Your vehicle can be your lifeline in an emergency, storing supplies for surviving disasters. Frankly, there is no excuse for not keeping a small bag of essential items in your trunk. Keeping three days’ worth of emergency supplies is a good starting point, since three days is typically enough time for help to arrive or for you to evacuate to a safer area. (This is also the amount of time for radioactive fallout to reach safe-enough levels for travel.) Keep your supplies in a “go” bag, a “bug out” bag or a “three day” bag. They will become invaluable when things go sideways.

Some kits do not contain everything you need, so you may need to build one of your own. Several companies sell basic starter kits that can serve as your foundation. First, make sure you have water and the ability to purify water. You should also have emergency food rations and a way to stay warm and dry—I keep rain gear and several “space” blankets with my kit.

A good first-aid kit, any medications you currently take and a Quick-Clot in case of serious injury are also essential. Potassium iodide tablets to block the absorption of radiation plus a surgical facemask and surgical gloves are also recommended. Items that are not essential but are good to have include a quality folding knife, an emergency radio (one that is solar- or hand-powered), a light source and some cash. Supplies can be purchased from Nitro-Pak (nitro-pak.com; 800-866-4876), Quake Kare (quakekare.com; 800-277-3727) or Survivor Industries (survivorind.com; 805-385-5560).

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