By Leanne Shelton
The Christmas after I turned 16 and got my driver’s license, one of my Christmas presents from my Dad was a toolbox filled with tools and jumper cables for my car. Now, as a 16-year-old, I was less than thrilled with this gift. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but now that I’m older and have used the gift more times that I can count (especially my jumper cables!), I truly understand the value of being properly prepared in an emergency situation. My dad was giving me the gift of preparation!
At Shoen Safety, we believe it’s important for everyone to have the proper supplies in case of an emergency. Part of our life-saving mission is to share information with you so you can be better prepared should such a situation arise.
Having the proper supplies in your car can help you in a variety of situations. They will serve to help you either get back on the road, get help quickly, and/or be more comfortable while you wait for help in what is probably going to be a stressful situation.
To that end, we believe every car, van, truck, SUV, or other vehicle on the road should have an emergency kit located inside, usually in the trunk. The kit should at least include the following items:
- A spare tire that is properly inflated, a wheel wrench, and tripod jack
- A flat tire inflation canister
- Jumper cables
- A gas can
- Oil, antifreeze, & washer fluid
- A tool kit and/or a multipurpose utility tool
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Reflective triangles, roadside flares, or glowsticks
- Compass/road maps
- A car escape tool
- A properly stocked first aid kit
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits, granola/energy bars, hard candy
- Drinking water
- Reflective vest in case you need to walk to get help
- Car charger for your cell phone
- Fire extinguisher
- Duct tape
- Paper towels or rags
- Rain poncho
- Cold weather items such as a snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid, warm clothing, cat litter for traction, and blankets
It’s best if you put all of your items in a durable bag to keep everything together in one place. You don’t want to be searching for something in your car in the dark or misplace something that you need and can’t find..
Ideally, you would make a custom kit for yourself and your situation, however, if you prefer to buy a prepackaged one, here are some that we recommend:
If you have any questions about a car emergency kit, first aid, safety, etc. contact Shoen Safety and Training. To learn CPR and First Aid and become American Red Cross certified, register for a CPR/First Aid class with Shoen Safety and Training. There are a lot of options available to fit your schedule. The peace of mind that you’ll get from knowing how to respond in an emergency situation is priceless.