Emergency road kit should never include a gas can

Dear Heloise: The recent reader letter on an EMERGENCY ROAD KIT was informative and timely. We are planning a long road trip and will assemble a kit as outlined.

However, the recommendation of including a gas can needed a strong caveat.

Never, and I mean never, put a can of gasoline inside your car — trunk included, but especially not in the passenger compartment. Gasoline and fumes are a bomb. Fumes from a supposedly “empty” can may easily ignite. A full can is a lethal disaster — if the escaping fumes don’t ignite, almost any accident is likely to result in an explosion. — Harry L., via e-mail

Harry, thank you for this very important warning. No one should carry a can of gas in a vehicle of any kind. An empty can with a cap, in case of an emergency, might be advisable, but drivers are better off filling up their gas tank frequently rather than risk running out. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I follow you in The Northwest Indiana Times. A reader sent in the hint of using glow sticks when she travels. I have small 3-inch flashlights throughout the house and in a travel bag. They put out a good deal of light. I also carry a plug-in night light for the bathroom when traveling. In an emergency, you have good light to help yourself. — Mary Ann, Griffith, Ind.

Dear Heloise: I would like to know where one can purchase a toad. Toads would be a blessing in my garden. — Donna E., Wykoff, Minn.

Donna, a garden shop or pet store might be your best bet. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: In addition to copying old letters, I suggest someone type them, then save them digitally on a CD. They will be easier to read.

My family found 500 pages of 70-year-old letters from uncles who died in World War II. I transcribed them, self-published a book and gave family members a copy. These men will no longer be unknown soldiers. — Michelle C., Orange County, Calif.

Dear Readers: Do you have difficulty finding your luggage on the luggage turntable at the airport because it’s black and there are so many black bags? Tie a red ribbon onto your luggage, or use an unusual luggage tag or a colorful pompom. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: When I travel, I just hate having to pack a wet toothbrush with my other toiletries. Any suggestions? — Betty J., Winter Haven, Fla.

Betty, try drying your toothbrush with a hair dryer. Or you can buy a plastic travel toothbrush holder. — Heloise