Items you need to pack in your emergency kit
Having an emergency kit in your car could spare you from many headaches (literally and figuratively). Before starting to pack your own emergency kit, you need to know some basic rules. First, you need to adapt your kit to the weather in your area. For example, if you live in Florida you’ll never need an ice scraper, cat litter for slick roads, blankets or warm clothing. Second, you should include items that suit your family. If you’ll have kids or pets on board, you should pack some things like diapers, dehydrated food, dog treats, and a water bowl.
Here are some must have items to pack in your kit:
- First aid kit: Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, bug spray, aspirin (or something similar), cotton balls, gauze pads, tweezers, bandana, ace bandage;
- A small and easy to store fire extinguisher;
- Road flares;
- Flashlight and batteries;
- Jumper cables;
- Duct tape;
- Drinking water and non-perishable food;
- Rain ponchos;
- Scent-free baby wipes;
- Multipurpose tool;
- Oil, antifreeze, brake fluid;
- Additional/optional items: cell phone car charger, cash for gas (for times when credit card payment isn’t available due to blackouts), an empty refillable gas jug, small battery-powered fan, and entertainment items for long road trips.
To pack your emergency kit, you should use a clear, plastic container with a secure lid. Place items inside in a tidy manner so they are easy to see and grab. You can also write a list with the items you have and tape it to the outside of the box. Don’t forget to replace anything that expires or gets used up.
The best place to store your emergency kit is in the trunk. If you have a truck or hatchback, you can place it in the back of your vehicle and secure it with bungee cords so it doesn’t slide around and open while you’re driving.
Don’t forget to check all the fluids before any road trip, including oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid. These should be clean and full to make sure your vehicle is running properly.