The following is a recommendation of items to put into an emergency car kit:
- Water for drinking and cooking
- Food and snacks (compressed high energy snack bars are excellent because of their ability to withstand most car temperatures)
- Flashlight with extra batteries. (batteries last longer in LED flashlights)
- First aid kit with burn care dressings and gel
- Sanitation and sundry items including soap (hand sanitizer is a great idea because it does not require any water)
- Maps and compass
- AM/FM radio. We recommend having a radio with more than one source of power, or hand crank radios.
- Chemical lightsticks are recommended because of their safety
- Road flares can be used but are not as safe as the lightsticks
- Candle with windproof/waterproof matches (remember, in some cases it is not wise to light a match in case of a gas leak)
- Emergency blanket or bag
- Extra clothing
Other useful items to remember:
- Jumper cables
- Car repair kit
- Try to always maintain at least one-half tank of gas
- Cell phone to report any emergencies (many disconnected cell phones may still be able to call ‚Äú911‚Äù when charged)
- Fire extinguisher
- Paper and pencil for leaving notes or recording any thoughts
- Toys and other special consideration items for children
- Books and games for entertainment
- Short rubber hose for siphoning
There are many ways to customize your emergency car kit. It is also important to consider special needs such as those with diabetes or hypoglycemia, babies, elderly, and people with allergies or chronic illness. For a person with diabetes, remember to have extra insulin on hand. For a person with hypoglycemia, store high energy snacks in addition to their ration of food. For babies, store extra diapers, formula, blankets, and clothes.
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. Remember to always let someone know what time you left and what time you expect to arrive at your destination.
By taking these precautions, you can prepare your family for an emergency and feel more confident in your travels.