You don’t slide into your car and expect to be in an accident or get lost. Yet, most drivers face these and other emergencies at least once in their driving careers. Prepare for anything with a stocked emergency kit and a few essential supplies.
Tire Repair Kit
Tires aren’t made to last forever. Be prepared for a dreaded flat when you stock a tire repair kit. It includes an inflated spare tire, a jack or lift, a torque wrench and a tarp that covers the ground as you change the tire. Flares are also a good idea since they warn passing drivers that you’re broken down. Of course, if you can’t pull safely off to the side of the road or can’t see to change the tire, call for help.
Every car uses a battery. When it’s properly charged, you’re able to drive until your car runs out of fuel, but a dead battery will leave you stuck along the side of the road. You’ve probably used jumper cables to revive a dead battery before. That requires another vehicle, though, an impossible feat if you’re stuck on a back road late at night. A better alternative is to carry a battery charger that you can charge at home and carry with you for up to a month before it needs recharged. You can also program in the number to your local service shop for when you need a car battery replacement.
Even if you’re not stranded overnight, an overnight bag comes in handy. If you happen to get stuck changing a tire in the rain, need to camp out in your car for a few hours or have an accident, the contents of your overnight bag could mean the difference between being cold and wet for hours and nice and dry.
You can pack any size bag you want, but it must include several necessities for every member of your family. Every six months, restock the toiletries, food and water, and never leave it at home, even if you’re only traveling ten minutes away.
- Change of clothes, including multiple layers, fresh socks, shoes and underwear
- Waterproof jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Toiletries such as deodorant, toothbrush and paste, contact lens supplies and lip balm
- Bottled water and non perishable foods like nuts, seeds, granola bars and dried fruit
- Waterproof matches in a waterproof case
First Aid Kit
Minor scrapes and burns can occur after an accident, so stock a full or makeshift first aid kit in your vehicle. It should include antiseptic ointment, burn cream, gauze, bandages, alcohol wipes, pain reliever and upset tummy relief. At least once every six months, inspect the kit. Remove all expired medicines and restock anything you used.
While your first aid kit is important, make sure you know how to use each of the supplies. Include a small reference booklet that explains common first aid care, and then confidently treat accident victims.
If you’re traveling with a baby, you definitely need to stock a few essentials. Diapers, wipes and plastic disposal bags top the list. Extra clothes and a blanket are also necessities. Additionally, extra formula and bottled water, a few jars of baby food and interactive toys keep your baby safe and occupied as you wait for assistance.
You can’t always prevent an auto accident, flat tire or dead battery. But you can be prepared. Stock an emergency kit, and be ready for anything.