Do you keep a first aid or emergency kit in your car in the event there is an emergency?

Unfortunately, problems can arise and when they do, it is often when we least expect it. No matter where you live or what you do, there may be times when you need to be prepared while you are out on the road. A roadside emergency kit can mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly and being stranded for hours. You should create an emergency kit for each of your vehicles.

This is a list of items that are usually recommended by emergency management experts to include in your kit:

  • First Aid Kit– It should include the basics like Band-Aids, bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial cream, aspirin, and other basic first aid supplies.
  • Jumper Cables or a Battery Charger– Make sure you know how to use these items safely.
  • Flares or Triangle Reflectors– Light sticks are also good. These items help make sure that you are seen at night and can keep you safe from being struck by other vehicles. They also can be used as locator beacons for rescuers.
  • Jack, Tire Iron, Spare Tire, Tire Pressure Gauge and a Tire Repair Kit–  A flat tire may not seem like an emergency but it can quickly become one if you don’t have the means and the know-how to take care of it. Tire issues are one of the top reasons motorists end up on the side of the road.
  • Extra Fluids– Keep extra car fluids on hand, often times they are the reason that you are in an emergency situation. You should keep extra motor oil and coolant in your car. Maybe even some extra power steering fluid.
  • Tool Kit- It should at least contain screwdrivers, pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a pocket knife.
  • Flashlight– If you keep a regular flashlight be sure you include extra batteries. Another option would be a hand-crank flashlight as they work whether or not you have batteries or sunlight.
  • Hand-crank Weather Radio with Cell Phone Charging Capability– This can be a lifesaver in an emergency as it enables you to get information and to charge cellular phones to call for help.
  • Duct Tape– We’ve all heard that duct tape can fix anything. While that may not be entirely true, it does come in handy in numerous situations.
  • Contractor Size Trash Bags– Like duct tape, these have a wide range of uses including shelter building, covering windows, and keeping feet dry.
  • Pry Bar- Good for many emergency uses including prying a damaged fender back so it doesn’t damage your tire.
  • Foldable Shovel- To help dig out stuck tires, amongst other things.
  • Rain Coat- The plastic folding ponchos found in most camping supply stores are easily packed away. Comes in handy if you need to work on your car in the rain.
  • Space Blankets-These are also called emergency blankets and they can make a real difference in survival if you are stuck for a long time. Also easily found in camping supply stores and packed away easily.
  • Water- You can only survive for 3 days without water. You should have extra water in your vehicle, especially for any long trips. It may not be a bad idea to have some kind of portable water purification system stored too.
  • Non-perishable Food– Things that are high protein and provide a lot of energy are the best. Granola bars, energy bars, and nuts are great options.  

While you are assembling your emergency kit, you should keep the age and condition of your car, your driving patterns and the weather patterns you drive through in mind. If you live in an area with freezing rain or snow, you will want to pack additional items, like an ice scraper, in the winter. You should also customize the kits to meet the specific needs of your family. For instance, if you are going on a longer road trip, you should keep extra important medications, like epi-pens or inhalers, that you or a family member may need on hand.

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