10 Emergency Preparedness Items For Your Vehicle
You never know when an emergency situation might occur while you are out and about on your daily driving. While it doesn’t have to be wintery weather, most people only think of road emergencies until severe winter weather hits. Even in your daily commute a mechanical breakdown, flat tire or single-car accident off the main highway could leave you in peril until help arrives.
Here are some essential emergency items you should carry in your vehicle year round. Before we even list the top things, please keep in mind this short list is things you should have all the time: Jumper Cables, Jack & Tire Tool. This list below are things I feel are vitally important. Consider making adjustments that you feel will befit you in your own personal situation.
Water – Keep at least two 500ml bottles per person, based on who normally rides in your vehicle. It is a good idea to keep this in a small waterproof collapsible cooler in case they sweat or freeze. If you drink them, make sure you replace them immediately before you travel again the next day.
Protein or Snack Bars – Have a box of high protein granola bars or some similar energizing snack. Like the water, reserve these items until you need them and if you do eat them while o a long trip make sure they are replaced immediately. Check expiration dates, and replace them when they get out of date
First Aid – You will always need to have a small, basic first aid kit that includes bandages, alcohol wipes and triple antibiotic cream. Remember to add other items like bee sting kit or a dose or two of essential medications if you take medications daily. If you typically travel with a small child, consider a couple of disposable wet wipes and diapers and baby first Aid type items as what’s in a normal first Aid Kit is Adult size bandages.
Flashlight – Make sure you have a really god, water resistant flashlight, not one of those cheap promotional items or one from a Dollar type store. Those are known to be cheap, break when you need it and barely puts out light. Check the batteries occasionally and either keep a spare set or a second good quality flashlight on hand in the trunk or under the seat of your vehicle. The Dollar Tree does have a great little, hard plastic containers to store batteries in for safe keeping.
Blanket – A good wool-blend blanket will be both soft and warm. Even if you live in a warm climate, you should keep a blanket on hand for colder evenings or to act as a cushion if needed. Some say small Mylar “emergency” blankets won’t be sufficient, but they are wrong! Mylar Blankets were made of space age material designed to help prevent hypothermia and they are better than nothing at all and do not take up much room. Keep two or three if necessarily. They also make a similar product that is an actual sleeping bag made of Mylar that is amazing to also have in the vehicle.
Work Gloves – Protection for your hands is essential if you need to get out and move something like debris i.e.: limbs, trash or do work on your own vehicle , you wish you had a pair of good work gloves. Get a couple of pairs of good canvas and/or leather (not jersey) gloves. Two pair is so someone else can also be safe and help you.
Electrical / Duct Tape – A small roll of electrical / duct tape will not take up much space and can be invaluable in making small repairs. Who hasn’t heard: Duct Tape can fix almost any situation.
Multi-tool – A Leatherman, Gerber, or similar multi-tool is convenient to store and can be carried with you if you need to go outside your vehicle for any reason. At a minimum, the tool will include pliers, screwdrivers and a knife blade. Something like a Swiss Army knife is also good.
Road Flares / Road Triangle – Keep them both in a safe place and out of the hands of children and in a safe, dry place. If you choose to carry Flares, please make sure you follow all safety measures as these are very dangerous and will burn you if handled inappropriately.
Cash – Keep a small amount of cash stashed in your vehicle, including quarters. In the event of a power outage, you may not be able to use your credit/debit card.
Here are just a few other recommended suggestions before any major trip and at least once a month for daily commuters:
Check your spare tire; make sure it is inflated and that you know how to change it. If possible, keep your gas tank full and top it off when you stop at a gas station rather than just putting in enough fuel to get by. If you live where there is snow during the winter months, keep a small spade and a container of kitty litter in your trunk so you can clear the area around your tires and get some traction.
Finally, if you are travelling more than an hour from home, put your Go-Bag in the trunk. If you haven’t prepared one yet, click here to read what should be in it. It will do you no good sitting near your front door ready for you to grab if you aren’t home to grab it. The timing of an emergency situation is never anticipated, so always be prepared.