While it is important to have a 72 hour survival kit at home, it’s equally important to have a kit for the car. I’m pretty sure any given day I may not get stranded in my car for 72 hours, however, it is possible to get stuck for an hour in traffic. With kids in the car, this is a disaster.
So what should I put in my car’s emergency kit?
Water – I’d suggest a store bought water bottle for the max number of passengers the car can hold.
Crackers or granola bars – I prefer snacks that have protein. This will keep you feeling full longer and regulate blood sugar.
Sweets – a few hard candies are great. I have a bag of suckers tucked in my bag. A little sugar will pump up energy and hard candy will last longer than gummies. Steer clear of chocolate, or anything that will melt. Even in cold temps, the sun heats up cars and will melt snacks.
Hand written phone numbers – Just in case the phone battery runs dry, you’ve got a few essential phone numbers to get a hold of the people that need to know where you are. Family is obvious, but don’t forget road side assistance, someone at the office, or the kids’ school. It’s also helpful to have a contact that is at least 300 miles away. If there is an actual disaster it is easier to reach someone out of town, than in the same network you are in.
Blanket – a space blanket is great, but some of these are really thin and can rip easily. I’d suggest another blanket as well. In the winter you can bundle up. In the summer you can lay it down for a picnic, or a place for someone to lie down to get rest.
Jumper cables – Since this is the most common car trouble, you don’t have to search for a set, you have them and just need another car to help you out.
Flares – I have these for 2 reasons. If I’m stranded on the side of a busy road, they keep me safe. The other reason is that they could start a fire if I needed to.
First aid kit – You can buy a prepared kit, or make your own. Be sure it is full of Band Aids, gauze, hand warmers, self-cooling ice packs and things like this. One of the must have items I stock is self sticking vet wrap. If you’re not sure what this is, google it. It’s cheap and can be used in so many ways. I find the best prices at the farm stores, but you can find it at stores like CVS and Walgreens too.
A car emergency kit should be rotated and re-stocked every 3-6 months. The temperature swings in cars are too much to expect food and water to last longer than this. Whether temperatures are high or low, it always gives peace of mind to know you are stocked up for anything.by