Emergency Preparedness — What’s Smart, What’s Crazy?

Emergency Preparedness Plans | CorporetteAre you prepared for various emergencies?  When do you think emergency preparedness crosses the line from smart to crazy?  We joked the other day about “Nine Ways to Prepare your Office for a Zombie Attack,” but that got me thinking — I’ve read a ton of advice lately about emergency preparedness plans for situations you never want to be in, and while some of it is a bit out there, most of it I’m glad to have read. Maybe it’s the former lifeguard in me (or the mama) but it calms me in a weird way to know what to do and have a plan of attack, and I often find myself discussing it with my husband afterwards, teaching him what I’ve learned. Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems like there are more and more of these stories, too. (For what it’s worth, we have had a serious discussion on here about the best self-defense tips for women.)  Ladies, do you like these stories? Or do you think it’s crazy prep for the paranoid?  (After all: may none of us ever have to use any of this knowledge!)

These are some of the stories that I’ve read and thought were really helpful — have any to add?

  • What To Do If You Fall On the Subway Tracks [Gothamist]
  • How to Stay Safe If You’re Caught in a Mass Shooting [Lifehacker]
  • How to Survive a Plane Crash [Smarter Travel, via Huffington Post]
  • How to Survive a Fall Through the Ice [Lifehacker]

Another fun topic: what emergency supplies do you keep in your homes? This will vary by region/threat, of course, but here at Casa Griffin we keep: bottled water (too few jugs of it, I’m sure), flashlights + batteries, candles + matches.  Years ago, when I started working on Wall Street in 2003 a few blocks from Ground Zero, my father bought me a tiny battery-powered radio; I’ve always kept it in a cosmetics case with the battery (separated from the radio), a list of local AM radio stations that have news, and headphones.  If we’re expecting a hurricane or that kind of thing I do go to the trouble to clean and fill the tub with water, but I’ve been considering getting a WaterBob since the thought of actually drinking tub water kind of grosses me out.  We’ll also usually buy more dried goods (nuts, power bars, etc).  I’d like to add a solar charger or a hand-cranked charger for our cell phones, but haven’t gotten around to researching them yet (and the solar charger I bought years ago was totally worthless, so I definitely want to research it).  I’ve also been meaning to build an emergency kit but beyond purchasing a shrunken bath towel, haven’t gotten around to much.

So, ladies — how prepared are you? What do you do to prepare? Where do you think it crosses the line from “smart” to “crazy”?

Pictured: Don’t Panic!, originally uploaded to Flickr by Michael Gil.

Comments

  1. Is anyone who has left their lawyer job or even just works in a non-traditional legal job willing to share your current position and how you ended up in it? I know there are a lot of articles on this but it seems like all the suggested jobs are unrealistic or require specilized skills (I am thinking of the articles that suggest becoming a chef or a CEO of a huge company).

    • I am currently the Director of Law Alumni Relations and Development for my alma mater. I was clerking for a judge when the position opened. My husband works in biglaw, and we wanted to start a family. I wanted a 9-to-5 job (although I do travel) so I could take the brunt of child-rearing. I love it!

    • Most of my friends who have left the practice of law are either in law teaching, legal recruiting (at either a recruiting firm or at a law firm), or working for our law school alma mater (career services, student services, etc). I also know a few people who left law & went back to the careers they had before law school (non-law teaching, consulting, journalism, etc).

  2. We live on the coast so hurricaines are a legitimate (although unlikely) threat. If a strong one does head our way, chances are we will have to evacuate and we will prepare for the likelihood of significant damage. Our emergency supplies generally consist of emergency lighting, frozen gallons of water in the chest freezer, extra dog supplies, shelf stable food, propane/charcoal for the grill, cash, etc.
    Water in the tub is usually for bathing and toilets, not for drinking. We keep bottled for drinking.

    • This is a smart p’ost. I will share it with the manageing partner! Our preparedness plan has us all backeing up our file’s on THUMM DRIVES, which the manageing partner got at a CLE event. He told us each day to copy all file’s onto these drive’s b/c if anything happen’s to our PC’s we will still have our file’s. The manageing partner gave us these THUMM Drives after the teck guy’s said we should upgrade so that our server could handel this, but the manageing partner does NOT want to spend $2000 for a decent server. The teck guy said that Window’s XT will NO LONGER be suported after tomorrow, so he said he could NOT assure our security. I want a new computer, but the manageing partner say’s I should just use my MacBook Air if I do NOT like the PC on my desk. FOOEY!

    • Oooh, extra ice in the freezer is smart – that’ll keep the temperature down for longer during a blackout too.

      Here long blackouts during winter is the biggest risk. I have a camping kitchen + fuel and a couple of sleeping bags, and usually have enough non-perishable food to last at least a week. Should probably get a solar charger too.

      I’ll be moving to flood country soon. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when looking at apartments, but other than that I have no idea how to prepare.

  3. *Hurricanes. Clearly this is why they name the storms.

  4. Don’t forget to keep some emergency supplies at your office, too. Our operations folks do and have told us what they are and where. But if you haven’t heard about your office’s plans, you might keep some of your own in your office. water, extra food, flashlights and batteries, old blankets/extra clothes.

    But I live in earthquake country, where we have to be prepared to stay put and might lose power.

    I also keep some stuff in the trunk of my car, which is also usually at work with me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      In addition to the usual supplies, I keep a change of clothes so that if there’s a disaster I can change into jeans, tee/sweatshirt, and sneakers instead of trying to face the post-disaster world in a pencil skirt and heels.

    • We also learned to empty out the fridge at work. Pretty rank after a week without power.

      And Senior Attorney – all of us who evacuated for Katrina took nothing but casual clothes and ended up with no work clothes! So the opposite. I had to buy a new work wardrobe when I got to PA. I had 2 pairs of long pants with me and 1 pair were jeans. I ended up with a temporary job at a place that had a no-jeans policy.

  5. Help! I have a dress-up work event this weekend (gala fundraiser) and have totally left my outfit to the last minute. It’s too late to Rent the Runway and I live 40+ minutes from anywhere I could go to purchase a dress. Any ideas for a place from which to order a last-minute cocktail or full-length dress? Criteria are: inexpensive (sub$50 is ideal, sub$100 OK), work-appropriate, tummy-hiding. I realize I may have to repost on the afternoon thread to get more ideas…

    • Nordstrom? My mom ordered 5 dresses to try for my wedding and just returned the ones she doesn’t like since they have free returns. I’m not sure how long their shipping takes, though.

      • Senior Attorney :

        It takes a while. I wouldn’t count on getting an order by the weekend unless you pay for quicker shipping.

    • marketingchic :

      For fast shipping, I’d try Zappos or Amazon.

      • Zappos love :

        Second Zappos. The speed at which they ship (and credit returns) is amazing. If you’re really stuck, do you have any statement necklaces that you like? Sometimes pairing a basic sheath or black dress with something really blingy is more than enough to look appropriate, especially if it is a work-related function.

    • Regina Phalange :

      Formal dresses get so little wear–do you have a friend or acquaintance in your size that might have something that you could borrow from their closet? I wouldn’t be shy about asking–they will say no if they are uncomfortable with it, and most people like to help out. I’d love to see someone get some wear out of my formal wear, which is always just taking up space in the closet.

  6. baseballfan :

    We do live in tornado country, but not much you can do to prepare for that beyond having a safe place to go hide when it passes over (in our case, a bathroom which is the most interior room of the house).

    We have a generator which we used last winter when a big storm knocked out power for quite some time, and my husband is a licensed ham radio operator (actually I am too, but I just dabble in it) which is great for staying connected and getting information when all other communication systems are down.

    I have never been much for keeping bottled water and nonperishable food around but I probably should consider that a bit more.

    I keep a couple of blankets in my car in case of breakdown in bad weather.

    • To add to your car blanket bag – old long pants, a shirt, a sweatshirt, and sneakers and socks. If you have a breakdown in bad weather or otherwise need to abandon your vehicle and walk (see: many people in Atlanta in January), a pencil skirt and heels will be your nemesis.

      • WorkingMom :

        Throughout all of winter (no matter what the temp) I always bring a pair of warm boots, hats and gloves in the car with me – especially if I am wearing heels, etc. If there is any car trouble I want to be prepared.

        **Side Note: I accidentally clicked “report” on Anon’s post when I intended to click “reply” – sorry!!

    • St. Louisan :

      Also consider having bike helmet(s) on hand if you are in tornado country. I just read about people fundraising to put bike helmets in schools in Oklahoma, so now I put my family’s helmets in the basement with our flashlights, etc.

      Aah, Spring in the Midwest . . .

  7. Zappos? They can usually ship quickly and returns are free.

  8. This is so silly, but I told my fiance that after we get married I want to be more prepared. We’ll be moving into a bigger place so I want to stock up on a few canned goods/ready meals, bottled water, get a battery-powered radio, etc…We have good sleeping bags/camping gear/backpacks if we ever had to make a run for it. I don’t want to go to crazy-town in terms of preparedness, but I feel like I’d be totally screwed if I lost access to water right now.

  9. AIMS, you asked on the last thread about Gottman’s “four horsemen” for divorce. I’m no expert, but here they are pasted in from http://www.gottman.com/research/research-faqs/.

    They do seem intuitive…

    * Criticism: stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partner’s personality, i.e., giving the partner negative trait attributions. Example: “You always talk about yourself. You are so selfish.”
    * Contempt: statements that come from a relative position of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated. Example: “You’re an idiot.”
    * Defensiveness: self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack. Example: “It’s not my fault that we’re always late; it’s your fault.”
    * Stonewalling: emotional withdrawal from interaction. Example: The listener does not give the speaker the usual nonverbal signals that the listener is “tracking” the speaker.

    These predict early divorcing – an average of 5.6 years after the wedding. Emotional withdrawal and anger predict later divorcing – an average of 16.2 years after the wedding.

    • Thanks! This is fascinating. I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I realized that in my SO’s family almost everyone is happily married (knock wood), and in mine people are either divorced or just tolerating each other without too much joy.

  10. I keep some cash on hand at home and I usually stash $20 in my desk at work. I usually use it for takeout money but it’s still helpful. I also have a flashlight but only because someone gave it to me (and then their power went out during Sandy while mine was fine; I felt bad). I usually don’t do much more but if a bad storm is coming, I might buy some water and extra groceries.

    I don’t drive, but I’ve read that it’s a good idea to keep a blanket in the car if you do, and maybe I’d keep one of those “break a window” tools I always see advertised in airplane catalogs.

    • Instead of a “break a windows” tool, look into a small, tactical flashlight to keep in your purse. It’s a flashlight, first and foremost (and a powerful one!), but can also be used as an impact weapon or to break a window.

    • Anonymous :

      You can also use your headrest to break a window. Take it off and use the pointy metal parts. Also, if you wait for the car to fill up with water until it’s at the bottom of your window the pressure should equalize and you should be able to open the door. But I would break the window first!!!

    • Baconpancakes :

      After being stranded in a ditch with a 100 degree fever in the Pennsylvania mountains in the middle of February 5 miles from anywhere with a cell phone signal, I always keep a blanket, water, a flashlight, candle, matches, ibuprofin, a shovel, and some meal replacement bars in my car. And just because I usually forget to bring it in the summer, I also keep a beach towel, sunscreen (replaced yearly), bug spray, aloe, and poison ivy wash.

  11. hair help :

    I’m at a turning point, ladies…I have been faithfully growing out my hair for years, but I don’t have the best hair for it. It’s not beautiful and thick and luxurious…and I’m finding that it is taking more and more time in the mornings to get it to look right.

    It is wavy naturally, so I can get it to hold curl well, and I have been treating it gently, as though it were truly curly hair: Only washing roots, every few days, using a deep moisturizing conditioner, and generally treating it delicately. No rubbing dry–I loosely wrap it into an old t-shirt instead of a towel. I recently got bangs cut, which I think was a great decision given my facial structure. I have big eyes, and the bangs really helped to bring them out.

    Currently, I have long layers, but the longest is just past my shoulders. It’s not long enough that it even looks nice in a ponytail. It’s not long enough for a bun any bigger than a clementine. The ends are horrendous. I’ve been having a hard time keeping them from looking frazzled. It seems to be growing slower than it should, but that could be a result of severe breakage at the bottom–that it’s just not ever going to be long and lovely. I might add that I am in hormone flux right now–I know my thyroid numbers are off, but I don’t see my doc till Friday for a reading of my results, and likely a change in dosage of synthroid, so I know that can play into the appearance of my hair too.

    I know that the true fix for this is a pretty dramatic cut–I would need inches off the bottom, and subsequently, all the layers.

    I’ve lost over 40 pounds, and am now a 0-2/xs, whereas I used to be a 12. So, I have a totally different facial structure/neck and shoulder appearance than I used to, when I started growing my hair out from a Meg Ryan-type shag.

    I loved my short hair. I really did. The only downside that I see is that it really can only look one way. Now, I at least have the option of wearing it straight or curly, or pinning my bangs back, etc. But, it’s just an awkward length.

    I really think that I am going to take the plunge again, and cut it off. I am also becoming “of a certain age” though I’m only 34, but I live in a college town, and so I am often mistaken for girls much younger than I am. Not usually a problem, but I also need/want to project confidence and authority in my job. I have a lot of public interface, and I work directly with our town council and planning commission on a regular basis. I feel that my hairstyle is immature for that, but also just doesn’t do ME justice.

    I know with short hair comes more maintenance, but I love my stylist and she has been cutting my hair, short and long, for over 12 years. I trust her entirely, and really don’t have any fear of getting a “bad” haircut.

    From the ladies who’ve made the plunge, either for the first time, or many times, please share your experiences? For those of you in the long hair camp, how do you manage it?

    Yes, I’m asking “what should I do?” I’m looking at some of Katie Holmes’s recent cuts–kind of the soft rounded bob, or a long pixie, truth be told. Ideally I would like to maintain enough length that it could be curled or stay wavy if I decide for a different look.

    • TO Lawyer :

      About a year ago, I took the plunge (for the first time ever!) and cut off my long hair that was at about my bra band into a Katie Holme’s bob with front bangs. I LOVED it but my hair was too short to do anything besides style and wear down. I am now growing my hair out (although I’m tempted to cut it short again) and my hairstylist has suggested a “lob” which is a long bob which hits around the collarbone. I actually think this length is perfect because you can wear it down or up or scrunch product into it and let it dry naturally so that’s what I’m aiming for this summer.

      • Lily student :

        That’s the length that looks best on me – I tend to get it cut to a shorter bob and let it grow to nearly bra strap length and then get it cut when it gets too long (I don’t use heat on my hair so I don’t get split ends), and when it’s about collarbone length it looks good. It goes up, it styles into a sophisticated style, or it can scrunch for casual.

    • Anonylicious :

      I had a pixie cut for two years and it was great, but I got tired of having to get it cut every two weeks. (My hair grows kind of fast and I have a low tolerance for shagginess.) If you won’t mind the upkeep, I say go for it.

    • baseballfan :

      It’s funny you mention a Meg Ryan-type shag because that is exactly what I recently got. My hair had been to around the middle of my back for quite some time, and it is curly and super thick, so although I liked the long layers I had it cut in, I just started feeling like it was too much hair.

      I saw a picture of Meg Ryan on the cover of People magazine a few months ago and thought, “Whoa! That is MY hair, if it was cut like that!” The thickness and wave were identical.

      With my short hair, I do have to style it every day, but since it is naturally curly, that consists of 5 minutes of drying with a diffuser. But the morning bedhead is pretty bad, where before if I had gotten a good blowout, it would last 3-4 days. And the ponytail days are sadly over, which is good and bad, because it can be a crutch, but so convenient for working out.

    • Kontraktor :

      I have hair similar to yours and cut it all off into a shaggy pixie almost 3 years or so ago. I have basically been growing out since, and my hair is finally now below my shoulders, but it still looks a little weird in a ponytail and I too can end up with a small bun.

      I’m still mixed on whether or not it was a good choice or not to try shorter hair out. It’s taken forever to grow out, and I had a couple of pixie trims that were truly horrific and there was nothing I could really do about it. Because the style was a little shaggier, the pixie still had to be styled for quite some time each morning and when I would wake up, my hair basically looked like that of an androgynous cancer patient (very patchy and a complete mess). So, it actually took a lot of time. The grow out period was (and still is) a battle with my hair of trying to get it to look tolerable each day; since I was trying to grow out my hair, I really could never cut the short lengths into true styles, the ability to grow out was the motivating factor vs. cute short hair style.

      On the flip side, I’m possibly convinced that a better pixie cut to start with + a competent stylist to do trims could have given me the low maintenence hair I wanted. Similarly, now that my hair is longer again, I’m reminded why I cut it in the first place (a lot of the same issues you describe, still work to style, frizzy, overall meh, etc).

      So… I don’t know. Certainly a more drastic cut doesn’t hurt to try, but it might not be the cure all you desire if you have persnickety hair. I have a hateful relationship with my hair and kind of wish I could shave it all off one day, but that’s probably not the best solution for various reasons. :-P

      • hair help :

        Thanks for all the insight. I think I am going to go for it, but I need to convince the hubs. He’s the one who has to look at it all the time…I think he’s open to options, we shall see. I may or may not have spent quite a bit of time pinning short hairstyles to my pinterest.

  12. MBAwannabe :

    After living through Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath, I definitely want to have an adequate supply of water and a generator. Now that I think about it, I’m really unprepared for non-epically disastrous but more likely events. This is a great reminder that I need to get a fire extinguisher for my house and jumper cables for my car!

    • For me, Katrina did not require water or a generator because I left and didn’t come back until December. So, for me, there is a difference between what I would pack if I were evacuating (definitely some work clothes!) and what I need if I’m “hunkering down” for a lesser storm. I found, with Isaac, that I needed a way to charge my phone that wasn’t necessarily sitting in my car so I bought this little Samsung charger brick that allows me to charge my phone 2-3 times. That would have helped when my phone died during the night while the storm was hitting. I also have a flashlight that turns into a lantern – helpful when I want to read in the dark and not by candlelight. Having either car chargers or USB chargers for everything was essential. I also buy extra water during hurricane season and I refill the empty gallon water jugs with tap water and store them under the bench in my breakfast nook. I need a cooler for perishables and ice. I try to have some canned foods or frozen stuff that I can thaw and cook. Or just non-perishables like cereal.

      For work, we maintain an emergency contact list that includes cell phone numbers and your likeliest evacuation point and their contact information. That and other information that we would need (contacts for our vendors, etc.) is all in an off-campus hosted secure website.

  13. I live in LA, and about two years ago ordered two Earthquake Preparedness Kits – one for my car (supplies are in a backpack so I can hike down the broken freeways!) and one for my house (supplies are in a bucket that can double as a toilet/waste disposal should things get really dire). I ordered them online and don’t really even remember what is in them, but I know they have water, food, batteries, lights, blankets, and other stuff – all dehydrated or otherwise minimally packaged for maximum benefit. Before I ordered them, I used to try to keep a supply of water and canned goods just in case, but I would always end up eating/drinking them when I had a particularly hard-to-get-to-the-supermarket week. The kits cost just about $100 for both (maybe a little more with shipping), and are worth knowing I don’t have to think about it.

    • Oh, and I also keep a blanket and extra sneakers in the car. The blanket got added for impromptu trips to the beach, and the sneakers for days when I’d forget to pack mine for the gym, but both stay exactly for the earthquake reason.

    • Meg Murry :

      I posted below about this, but you want to check the dates on the food in the emergency kits, and if its getting close see if you can use and replace just that. You don’t want to find out that your food is years past date in the rare case you actually need to use it.

      Also, in cleaning out our doomsday prepper friend’s house we found several of the lids that make a bucket into a toilet and they made great white elephant gifts! The name Luggable Loo makes them extra entertaining, IMO: http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Products-Luggable-Seat-Cover/dp/B0000B13MT

  14. Meg Murry :

    When I saw the words “emergency preparedness” on the Next Post section, I was expecting this to be about what you keep in your desk/office for everyday emergencies, not major disaster prep emergencies. So since its in my mind, here is what I keep in my office:
    -Spare clothes. No less than one outfit. I work in a profession where getting messy is common, and I’m a slob/klutz who spills on myself regularly.
    -Bandaids, ibuprofen, cough drops and kleenex. See klutz, above.
    -Sewing kit, based on a thread a little while ago about a wardrobe malfunction involving a split seam.
    -Food. Oh so much food. One of my coworkers at a previous job commented that while the men in our department might be the ones that talked about eating all the time, made lunch plans far in advance and brought in delicious leftovers, if there was ever an emergency involving being stuck in the office they were hitting the women’s desks first – especially the moms. Because it was true – we all had a major pantry in our desk drawers, while the men might have some gum or mints or hostess cupcakes at best.
    -A flashlight app on my phone. Because I’ve had to find my way out of the pitch dark bathroom when the power went out more than once.
    -A carbiner clip to keep my car keep on my person at all times. Before I started there, a factory I used to work at had an evacuation where the employees were stuck out in the parking lot for several hours, then sent home – but they weren’t allowed back in the building to get their keys, purses, coats etc so many of the women had to call for someone to come get them, while the men usually had their keys on them. I was advised to always keep my car key on me at a minimum, and its a rule I follow to this day.

    Back on the original topic: If you are going to be a doomsday prepper, keep an eye on your expiration dates and don’t plan to buy much more than you can use up (and restock) close to that time frame. We are currently emptying the house for a friend who is going into a nursing home. He took a doomsday prepper approach to his basement, except he got “deals” for buying close dated food. Good for him, except doomsday hasn’t come yet, and no one will take the 15 cases of Spam etc that are past the “best buy” date from his basement for us – we can’t even get a food pantry to take it. We could seriously fill an entire dumpster with the amount of food we have to throw out, even after taking some ourselves and passing it on to friends who don’t mind food slightly past the best by date. So yes – rotate your emergency supplies, please!

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      That goes for water too. Most people forget that bottled water doesn’t have an eternal shelf life. The bottles we had for power outs are no longer drinkable, we keep them for bathing and toilets.

  15. Anonymous :

    During Sandy, I loved my headlamp. LED, lasted 2 weeks, even hung it from a regular lamp to play cards by.

  16. I always have cash on hand. If the power goes out, then the ATM goes out. As do the credit card machines at the grocery store.

    I only stock up on items (i.e. bottled water) as it’s getting close to hurricane season and then start drinking/eating it all when the time passes.

  17. Baconpancakes :

    My house is pretty well stocked with canned food, and I keep a camping stove that could be used to heat water if necessary, and I try to keep a first aid/meds kit that can handle most problems for a few hours – bandages, hot/cold packs, a few painkillers, anti-diarrheals, etc. While it’s not likely, the possibility of a terrorist attack shutting down DC isn’t completely out of the cards, so in case the metro and all traffic is stopped, I always keep some kind of walking shoes and socks at work (usually the gym clothes I’m planning on wearing that day).

    Other things to have on hand just for the zombies/debilitating storms: hatchet, water purification tablets, non-electric heating capability (still working on this one – the 3 day winter storms this year make this less absurd than you’d think), candles, flashlights with fresh batteries, and emergency radio.

    • Anonymous :

      In DC as well. The sneakers/bottle of water/snack bar at work is pretty common around here. Plus knowing how to get home without using google maps (DC’s plan is “walk home”).

  18. MidWesterner :

    My in-laws lean towards the doomsday prepper types, so they are always on my husband and me about being prepared. I have a kit in my car that has a blanket, water, food, flashlight, etc. and he just bought us a WaterBob! I thought it was strange at first but I guess if you knew long enough ahead of time that something was going down, it could be helpful.

    Other than that, we have some bottled water and gatorade in the basement, and lots of candles and matches, flashlights and batteries. We could probably do way better in this department but I’ve always been hesitant lest I go full doomsday prepper. Based on the comments above, though, I am definitely adding tennis shoes and a backpack to my car!

  19. I go to Burning Man annually, and a lot of my Burning Man gear does double duty for earthquake preparedness the rest of the year. I have a zillion seven-gallon water containers and I keep a couple of them full of water year-round. I always have some extra Clif bars and other easy non-perishable food left over. And of course, the headlamp, camping lantern, and other lights. Sleeping bag lives in the car along with water.

    I should add an extra outfit/shoes to the trunk of the car. That’s a good idea.

  20. My house in upstate NY has an 2+ week supply of food, numerous flashlights, lots of candles, one of those emergency hand crank radios, 200 gallons of water in a basement storage tank (part of the system for me well) and heat which works when the power goes out.

    My car has an emergency kit with a blanket, first aid kit, road atlas, and assorted snack food. I throw a collapsable snow shovel in for the winter months. I also have a spare set of reasonably work appropriate clothes, and an extra pair of glasses (I normally wear contacts) in the glove compartment in case I somehow lose a contact or have to take them out. Tossing in a spare pair of shoes would be a good idea; I’ll save the next pair of boots that are too beat up for work and put them in there.

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