Are you traveling this holiday season? Don't leave home without having your car prepared for all kinds of conditions, including an
Emergency Car Kit
An emergency car kit is crucial for breakdowns and unusual weather conditions.
- It is always good to keep essential supplies in your car in case you get stranded for a few hours or even a few days. A car’s trunk will only hold a certain amount of equipment.
- Because of the limited space in the trunk, you will want to use the glove compartment (so the smaller items will not get lost under the larger equipment). Put items under the seat or use a box, tool kit or lock box to store your emergency equipment in the trunk.
- As the seasons change, make sure you prepare your car for the change. Depending on your circumstances and location, your level of preparation may vary. You may need snow tires, new windshield wipers and fluid, anti-freeze, heater/air conditioner service, recommended scheduled tune-ups, etc.
- Many types of disasters can strike while you are in your car – snow or ice storms in winter, floods in spring, and hurricanes, tornados or lightning storms in summer and fall. Your survival will depend on how well you have prepared ahead. For everyone it should mean preparing your car and family for whatever could happen.
Although it can seem like a daunting task to put a survival kit together, it can actually be a very easy and interesting project. The greatest challenge can be organizing your kit with the least amount of layout of cash.
- Start by looking around your home for those items you already have. Add a few items each week if you need to buy things.
- Food and water are the most important items, followed by a blanket or sleeping bag for keeping warm.
- If you are not interested in organizing your own kit, you can purchase one already made and just add any extra items you want included in your pack.
What should I keep in my auto emergency kit?
First, you want to make sure you have the basic essentials such as water (the utmost important thing to put in your kit because your body will dehydrate without water within 3 days which leads to organ failure and death), food and warmth.
After these basics are included, then you can add other necessities such as an emergency light, first aid items, tools and other accessories.
Several tips you will want to consider:
- Remove batteries when not in use to prevent accidental burnout; replace yearly.
- Consider carrying a cell phone; you can purchase a prepaid phone that can be used for emergency use only.
- Carry a rope to tie yourself to the car when leaving vehicle during a storm.
- Always try to maintain at least one-half tank of gas.
- Food is difficult to keep in your car because it is exposed to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold; it is best to store high calorie food bars because they can be exposed to extreme temperatures, won’t leave you thirsty thus reducing the demand on emergency water and expand your stomach so you feel full.
- A 3 day survival supply of emergency food is the minimum survival recommendation and you should maintain a week’s supply of emergency food in your vehicle for proper emergency preparedness.
- Include a multi-purpose knife such as a Swiss Army knife because is provides many different tools for you to work with in a time of need. A Samurai survival tool provides an axe, hammer, and pry tool all-in-one.
- Before attempting to use any of the other items in your kit during an emergency, get your flares out and place them in front of and behind your vehicle. Put them far enough away to warn drivers of your presence and give them time to slow down to avoid hitting you.
- Remember to always let someone know what time you left and what time you expect to arrive at your destination.
- If you have no way of calling for help, tie a bright red piece of cloth on your antenna. This is generally recognized as a call for assistance.
Car Emergency Preparedness Checklist
_____ Large Tool Box to keep items in
_____ Case of bottled water or a gallon of water
_____ Food, non-perishable high-energy, (high calorie food bars, dried fruit, granola bars, peanut butter, crackers and canned goods)
_____ Manual can opener and basic eating utensils (metal cup for water)
_____ Extra clothes and boots/shoes (for winter: coat, hat, gloves and scarf)
_____ Couple Large plastic garbage bags to help insulate feet
_____ Wool blanket or Sleeping bag
_____ 6 to 20 hour hand and feet warm packs
_____ Emergency Poncho or rain gear
_____ Flashlight and extra batteries
_____ Candles, water-proof matches, and a deep can to melt snow or hold candles
_____ Light Sticks
_____ Six – 15-minute road flares or set of reflective warning triangles
_____ Help sign (or a strip of Red cloth to tie on antenna to signal for help)
_____ Gas can, empty 2 gallon size
_____ Short rubber hose for siphoning
_____ Battery Jumper Cables, 12-foot length and Battery charger
_____ Spare Tire and Jack
_____ Four-way lug wrench
_____ Aerosol flat tire fixer (such as fix-a-flat)
_____ Tire repair kit and pump
_____ Sack of sand or salt (cat liter works well also) for tire traction
_____ Fire extinguisher (5-pound, A-B-C type)
_____ Tow rope or chains
_____ Ice scraper
_____ Antifreeze / Windshield washer fluid
_____ Two quarts of motor oil
_____ Extra fuses
_____ Basic Tool kit: (Include: Tire pressure gauge, wrench-and-socket set, flat- head and Phillips screwdrivers, hose clamps, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, hammer or axe and small shovel) or a Samurai survival tool (provides an axe, hammer, and pry tool all-in-one)
_____ Swiss Army knife
_____ Roll of Duct tape
_____ Roll of Reflective tape (to help with visibility)
_____ First aid kit with essential medications and manual (include burn cream and tweezers)
_____ One-way valve for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
_____ Medications and extra pair of glasses
_____ Battery-powered AM/FM radio with extra batteries
_____ Extra Set of keys
_____ Cell phone and charger
_____ Whistle and Compass
_____ Rags and/or roll of paper towels
_____ Automobile ownership papers
_____ List of emergency contact numbers (Including an emergency tow service)
_____ Road Maps
_____ Pencil / pen and paper and disposable camera (to record an accident and thoughts)
_____ Dollar bills and Quarters, dimes and nickels
_____ Toilet paper and other personal care supplies (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer and sanitary napkins and/or tampons)
_____ Book, puzzles or other non-battery item to help pass time