Having spent more than 10 years working in the industry, I know there are a number of tools every funeral director/funeral home owner should have at her disposal.

Allied 49030 180 Piece Home Maintenance Tool Set

A basic toolkit, with screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches is a must.  You can buy these at various brick-and-mortar stores or online from places like Amazon, Walmart.com and Target.com.

I remember a time when having a screwdriver meant being able to place a 400-lb decedent in a casket without calling on the local fire department or buying an overhead lift.

How did the screwdriver help?  Well, we removed both of the casket lids and placed the dressing table next to the casket.  Three staff members (one on the back side to steer) used a transfer sheet and loaded the casket.

And don’t underestimate the need for a working tape measure.  It’s easier to order the right oversized casket if you’ve measured the deceased properly.

Canon CanoScan LiDE 25 Color Image Scanner (0307B001)

How do you send obituary pictures to your local newspaper?  With the price of gas headed toward $5 a gallon, driving the photo down to the newspaper office seems like a waste. 

Believe me, there are still some funeral directors who don’t own a flatbed scanner. 

The unit pictured here costs just $49.99 from Amazon and allows you to scan photos to your computer, where they can be emailed or added to memorial folders.

Brother GX-6750 Daisy Wheel Electronic TypewriterEven in the computer age, there are just some things you have to use a typewriter for.  But the worst part about using a typewriter is finding replacement ribbon cartridges. 

The typewriter pictured here is new, so supplies are available, but older machines need hard-to-find ribbons.  My favorite place to find them?  Ribbon Train, which specializes in early printers and typewriters.

Even funeral homes in dry climates get rain every once in a while.  Invariably, the downpour starts just as your biggest funeral is ready to leave for the cemetery.

And while you probably have plenty of umbrellas for your guests (tell me you have umbrellas!) your staff will need some protection from the precipitation.

For your employees, rainsuits make a better statement and are more functional than umbrellas.  A rainsuit says “We’re prepared for anything” and doesn’t give the impression that your staff is hogging an umbrella that one of your guests could be using.  A suit will also allow your staff to carry more flowers to the van, help guests without having to juggle and umbrella and direct traffic with both hands free.

The suits above are available on Amazon for as little as $34.95.

A portable battery pack/car charger can make the difference in being stranded at a church and getting to the cemetery on time.

This unit, from Duracell, boasts jumber cables, an AM/FM radio and three AC outlets to power 110v items, such as lights, boomboxes, computers and more.

Since you never know where you might need power, this rechargable unit (or one like it) is a great item to stash in the trunk of your lead car or limousine.

Available from Amazon for $99.99.

The only thing worse than a car that won’t start because of battery problems is one that won’t start because you’ve run out of gas.

This emergency fuel carrier is collapsible and costs just $8.95 from Genuine Hotrod.  Put one in every vehicle you own.