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5 must-haves for nightmare traffic jams

Things to keep in your car … just in case

A few weeks ago, I logged into Facebook and saw my sister’s status—“Not going into work today. There’s no way I’m going out on those roads.”

On the surface, it seems pretty ordinary. But, when I tell you my sister lives less than two miles from work and resides in sunny Atlanta, you can understand my surprise.

My first thought was she was poking fun at me and some of her friends back home. As a native Clevelander, my sister always relishes in her wonderfully mild Georgia winters, especially in late January. Then I scrolled a little further in my feed, and saw what was happening.

Atlanta was in the middle of a traffic gridlock nightmare.

As a typical Midwesterner who braves several feet of snow each winter, my thoughts went as follows:

  • Doesn’t Atlanta know how to deal with a little snow?
  • Okay, that’s not fair, Steve. They don’t have the infrastructure or capacity to deal with this. I hope everybody is alright.
  • What would I do in that situation?

After pondering that last thought for a bit, I’ve added a few things to my car must-haves to make sure I’m prepared for anything. I already have a bag with emergency/safety items, so I’m adding another small bag. We’ll call it my “Just in Case … case.” Trademark on that highly creative name pending.

Please note these items are in addition to this list (5 must-have safety supplies for your car), so I won’t repeat any of those must-haves.

  1. A few bottles of water and a few protein bars (or any non-perishable snack)—If I end up being stuck for hours, it’s good to have a snack. I also reserve the right to break into this stash if I get cranky on a long road trip.
  2. A rain poncho—They don’t take up much space, and if I get trapped in a torrential downpour and have to abandon ship, this will be handy.
  3. A few blankets … and maybe a Snuggie—If I need to shut off the car to conserve gas, this is a great way to stay warm. This also could come in handy as we go to outdoor events throughout the year.
  4. Gloves and a hat—Because I hate having cold hands and ears. Hate it.
  5. An old pair of running shoes—Instead of tossing my current pair when I get new ones, I’ll stick them in my car. Who knows if I’ll have to walk a long distance? Plus, if my wife gets stranded wearing heels, this will be a good alternative.

Those are my must-haves for my Just in Case case. What did I miss?