Emergency Preparedness Kits for Your Car: What You Should Have in Yours

Emergency Preparedness Kits for Your Car | 911 Driving SchoolPeople depend on their cars to be reliable, but sometimes emergencies happen. It is a good idea for drivers to prepare for the worst by keeping an emergency preparedness kit in their car. If you have never made one before and need a little help in thinking of items to stow away, here are some great items to go in your kit.

A First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your car comes in handier than you think. There are plenty of pre-packaged first aid kits on the market, but if you want to make your own, it isn’t too hard. Some items to include are band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer, gauze pads, an ace bandage, pain medication, bug spray, burn cream, tweezers, sunscreen, and antiseptic.

Having these items is helpful if you come upon an injury or just scrape your knee at the park. Since there are so many small items in a kit, make sure you store them in a container and leave it in your vehicle.

Breakdown Supplies

If your car breaks down, it is important you have the tools to fix it. Even if you don’t know what to do, having some basic items on hand will be helpful if someone comes along to help that does know what to do. Some items you should keep in your car are a spare tire, a tire iron, flashlight, jumper cables, and road flares.

Extra Clothing

There are several reasons to keep clothing in your car. There is the practical side of knowing you have extra clothes for work, school, or social events if you spill something on your clothes, but there is a better reason.

If your car breaks down or you get stuck in bad weather for a long time, you can layer up clothing to stay warm. You never know where you will get stuck or what you will be wearing. Keeping a spare jacket, coat, or rain poncho in the trunk is great if you aren’t sure when you will be stranded.

Food and Water

Keep at least a few water bottles in your trunk, along with snacks. If you ever get delayed, stuck in traffic, or stranded somewhere without food to purchase, you will be grateful to have something to eat.

Some items to consider are granola bars, fruit leather, jerky, gum, and hard candy (to suck on for a long time). Since food is perishable, make sure you are rotating these items so that you don’t have to eat food that has gone bad.

Other emergencies

Other items to consider keeping in your car for miscellaneous needs and emergencies are: a fire extinguisher for flames, a blanket to keep warm or wrap around a serious injury, a roll of duct tape for random needs, and baby wipes to clean up spills.

Keeping a little extra cash in your kit is a good idea too, just in case you forget your wallet or have an unexpected need come up without a credit card.

Extra Items that Fit Your Situation

No one is going to know your situation better than you do. If you are a family with small children, you might want to pack an extra pack of diapers and wipes, spare formula, and extra pacifiers.

If you have small kids, consider adding toys or coloring books. If you are a single young adult, you don’t need those things in your car, so find items that work for you, like a spare phone charger.

 

Another important thing is to cater to your environment. Are you in the middle of winter in the Midwest? You might want to pack a lot of extra blankets. If you live in southern Texas, you might want to pack a lot of extra water bottles and a hat.

Consider your own situation and location and find what works for you. Having an emergency kit in your car will not only make you more prepared but also give you more peace of mind.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter | 911 Driving SchoolChecking your car regularly is important to keep it functioning correctly. As the weather gets warmer and colder, it acts as a reminder for you to do some work on your car. Since both hot and cold affect your car differently, here are the three things you should do for the winter weather.

Get a check-up

Taking a trip to the mechanic is a great first step. A professional inspection will go over the basics. The first step is checking your oil. When the weather cools down, the oil will thicken and make it harder to lubricate your engine properly.

The other important fluid to check for cold weather is the antifreeze. If the mixture isn’t right, the water might freeze in your radiator, causing some serious damage.

Next, your belts and hoses will be checked. Since winter is hard on these parts, it is important to make sure they are in good enough condition to last the winter.

Lastly, it is important to verify that your tires are ready for winter with enough air pressure and tread. Both play an important part of having good traction on wet and icy roads.

Test basic functions

Two things that anyone can do, regardless of car expertise, are to check your wiper blades and four-wheel drive. Finding out that either one of these doesn’t work while in a storm can create a dangerous situation.

Make sure your blades completely clear your windshield. If they don’t, change them out for new ones that can do the job.

Checking your four-wheel drive is also important to do before you are in a storm. Remind yourself and the other drivers in your home how to turn it on and off. Make sure it engages and disengages smoothly. If there are any problems, get it fixed before you need it in a storm.

Prepare for the worst

No matter how much you check and get maintenance done, there is still a possibility that you will end up in an emergency. Stocking your car with some essentials can really help you out if it happens. To start, always make sure you have the tools necessary to change a flat tire, including a spare. Carry other essentials such as a flashlight and external charger for your phone, in case you need them.

Other things that are good to have in your trunk are water bottles, snacks, a blanket, ice scraper, and windshield washer fluid. During the winter, you can also add chains for your tires, just in case you need them for traction.

 

Depending on where you live, you might not need to complete every step on this list. However, if you live in an area where it does get freezing, it’s important to prepare every year. Keep a list of the work you do so you can refer to it the next year. If you don’t live in an area where it gets cold, do this work before you head to a colder climate for the holidays.