What to Put in Your Car’s Emergency Preparedness Kit

What to Put in Your Car's Emergency Preparedness Kit | Swerve Driving SchoolMaking an emergency preparedness kit for your car is so important that you should put one in each of your family’s vehicles. When putting together your kit, there are three categories of items you should consider; medical, breakdowns, and emergency supplies.

Medical

Medical emergencies can happen any time, any place, even in your car. If you get in a car crash or drive up to crash, you will be glad that you have some basic medical supplies on hand until help arrives.

If you are out for the day in the mountains or spending the day at the beach, injuries can happen there too and having some first aid items in your car can be very useful. Plenty of big box stores have pre-made first aid kits to buy, or you can make your own. If you decide to put your own first aid kit together, consider the following items:

  • Band-Aids
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Burn cream
  • Gauze pads
  • Ace Bandage Wrap
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine
  • Antacids
  • Pain medication such as Tylenol or Aspirin
  • Antiseptic
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer

Store all items in a container that closes securely. Rotate items that have an expiration date and keep the kit in your car.

Breakdowns

Cars are something that everyone hopes will always work properly, there are times that they won’t start or have something break while on the road. While you can’t anticipate everything that can go wrong, there are some basic supplies to keep in your car, like

  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire
  • Tire iron and jack
  • Flashlight
  • Tool kit
  • Road flares

Even if you don’t know how to fix your car, it is a good idea to keep these items in it so you have the things you need if someone pulls over to help you.

Emergency Supplies

Some items that are good for your car for unanticipated emergencies are bottles of water, long-lasting food items, and extra clothing. If you are ever stranded or find yourself in a remote area, it is a good idea to have bottled water for drinking, pouring in your radiator, or washing off an injury.

In this instance, you might need food as well, so consider keeping granola bars, jerky, crackers, or other items that last a while in your car. Extra clothing such as a poncho, sweatshirt, jacket, socks, or even some extra shoes for if you need to layer up or walk a long distance for gas.

Other Things to Consider

Depending on where you live, there are other items you should consider. Live in a snowy environment? Add an extra ice scraper to your back seat and pack some extra blankets. If you live in a hot climate, make sure you have a lot of extra water in your car and a hat.

The time of life you are in is also something to consider. If you have a young family, keep an extra pack of diapers, some formula, and toys in the car. No matter what you include in your emergency preparedness kit, just be sure to pack one and be intentional about your items.

Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving: Maintenance Checklist

Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving | Swerve Driving SchoolAs the colder weather sets in, it is a good time to start getting your car ready for winter. This is helpful if you live in a cold weather place or if you are planning to travel to colder weather for the holidays. Here is a checklist for getting your car winter ready.

1. Get an oil change.

Oil gets thicker as the weather gets colder, making it harder to keep your engine properly lubricated. It is more important than ever to make sure that you don’t go over the recommended limit, according to your owner’s manual. If you are close and winter is approaching, use this as a time to get it changed anyway.

2. Change your wiper blades.

The last place you want to be when you discover your wiper blades need to be replaced is in a storm. Keep your visibility clear by checking and changing your wiper blades as the weather cools down.

3. Have a car checkup.

Take your car into a trusted mechanic and have them give your car a checkup. They can check the battery’s ability to hold a charge and its connectors for corrosion. Look over the belts and hoses for wear and leaks. Cold weather can be hard on these car parts and making sure they are in good enough condition to last the season.

4. Check your tires.

One of the more important things your car needs during bad weather is good tires. There are two important qualities you are checking for on your tires, the tread, and the pressure.

The tread is important because the less you have, the less traction you will have on the road. When driving through wet or icy conditions, traction is important in keeping control of your car.

Tire pressure is also important for traction. In colder weather, the pressure will drop slightly, making the ability to control your car more difficult. If you live in an area that often gets deep snow, consider switching to snow tires or carrying chains around just in case you need them.

5. Try your four-wheel drive.

Most drivers don’t use four-wheel drive during the summer months, so make sure it is working properly by turning it on before you need it. Review how to turn it on and check that it engages and disengages easily.

6. Mix your antifreeze.

Antifreeze is critical to making sure that your radiator doesn’t freeze, even in arctic temperatures. Having the correct mixture of antifreeze and water is critical. Talk to a trusted mechanic or to help check and mix it correctly and to properly dispose of your old antifreeze.

7. Prepare for the worst.

Keep extra items in your car that might be required on the road, such as an extra pair of wiper blades, equipment to change a tire, a flashlight, water bottles, and some snacks. If possible, also have an external charger for your phone, just in case you need it.

 

These steps are a great starting checklist for getting your car ready for winter. If you talk to a mechanic or think of other things you can do to help prepare, make your own list. Keep a list somewhere safe so you can refer to it next winter.