disaster preparedness

21 Things to Have on You When You Get Stuck on the Subway

Photo: Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images

Earlier today, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo declared that the MTA is in a state of emergency. Ha! As if we didn’t already know that. Between the infamous airless F train and the derailed A train, we’re risking it all every time we commute to work. So with nothing but a hellish subway summer on the horizon, we’ve gathered all of the things to have on you that will keep you calm and cool you off when the inevitable delays hit.

For when you’re stuck on the platform for 20 minutes, thanks to sick passengers at the two previous stops, the highest-rated mini-fan on Amazon. It’s 7.8 inches long (just an inch taller than an iPhone 6s), but it folds completely in half. If you prefer something with a misting option, we’d suggest Insten’s Portable Misting Fan that charges via USB and saved one writer from melting at Disney World.

Because we have yet to discover the key to a limitless charge, one should always have a backup plan. Also, they’re just prettier.

A lightweight, easily foldable sweater for when you’re trapped underground in one of those cars with the souped-up AC.

This is sold out, but here is another v-neck cardigan.

You’ll need to stay hydrated. Our favorite Zojirushi bottle will keep all of your hot drinks boiling hot and cold drinks ice cold, no matter how long you’re underground.

An expert heavy-sweater recommended these 100 percent cotton Have a Hank bandannas for dabbing the occasional drip (or protecting you from touching the pole, if that’s your thing). We also might suggest going fancy with a monogram hankie.

Always have a book or something to read that’ll distract you from the endless inching toward the next stop. Maybe stealing something from Hillary Clinton’s reading list, like The Jersey Brothers, because a story about missing naval officers who found their way home from the Pacific won’t make the train seem so bad.

A thermal-spring misting water to remind you that you’re worth it, even though you still take the train to work.

Or take the time to reapply sunscreen (which you’re supposed to do every two hours) without ruining your makeup.

And then you can brush your teeth again, because why not?

Some gum, to keep your mouth busy so you don’t get antsy.

The only thing worse than getting stuck on the subway is getting stuck on the subway with a dead phone. New York’s gadget expert Jake Swearingen recommends the Xiaomi, which can store enough juice to completely recharge your phone three times.

Note: This exact charger is sold out, but here is another Xiaomi option.

A calming lavender oil that’s worked for stressed-out writers on deadline. If lavender’s not your thing, Tata Harper’s aromatic stress treatment, beloved by Strategist editors, smells like rich people and is like taking a Klonopin in scent form.

From an article in the Gothamist telling the story of the A train derailment two days ago: “One guy was very calm and in a big booming voice said, ‘Everything is under control,’” Duncan added. “That made me feel good, and then he goes, ‘God is in control,’ and I was like, OH GREAT.” Avoid the crazies altogether with Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo’s favorite earplugs that’ll let you hear any important announcements, but block out all the rest.

These won’t be your No. 1 headphones, but it’s a pair cheap enough and good enough to buy and just keep in your bag, so you always have something on you. As recommended by a senior editor at Vulture.

A three-inch-long flashlight in case the lights go out or, god forbid, you have to walk out through the tracks.

This may be a little much, but why not at least try to carve out a little personal space.

Trtl Pillow

For those trying to hunker down and just sleep it out, a travel pillow as small and slight as a scarf.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, bed sheets, coffee makers, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

21 Things to Have on You When You Get Stuck on the Subway