Having a well prepared emergency auto kit is a must for anyone that wants to be prepared on the road…especially if you’re planning on taking a road trip soon. Your auto kit is one that you’ll want to keep updated since the items that you’ll keep in them will change between winter and summer.
For both seasons, you’ll want to have a few specific basics included. Though the items won’t change, you’ll want to check them from time to time to be sure you don’t have anything expired or worn out. Things like snack foods, bottled water, jumper cables, flares and hand tools go into this category. You’ll also want to consider any specific items that you or your kids may need but not carry with you 24/7. Kids can easily get bored so make sure that you also include a few books, pads and paper and colored pencils to keep them occupied if you’re broken down or stuck somewhere.
For spring and summer, you’ll want to add some extra water to your emergency auto kit. You can easily dehydrate in heat (especially if you’re sitting in a car) so water is something you shouldn’t skimp on. You’ll also want to include a high quality sunscreen and hats for everyone in your family. Hats will keep the sun off of your head and face and lessen exposure. Also consider packing a few lightweight, but long sleeved shirts. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but you’ll thank me when your arms are not burned.
Be sure that your flashlights have working batteries in them too and that your cars blinkers and flashers are working correctly.
For your winter emergency auto kit, you’ll need to make sure you have ways to keep you and your family warm. This not only means making sure there is an extra jacket or coat for everyone, but also that you have plenty of blankets. Boot socks and a warm pair of boots are also important as well, but in reality you should keep those in your BOB’s. In addition, keep an old metal coffee can in your car kit with a few tea light candles. Believe it or not, the one small candle will reflect heat and light off of the can and help keep your family warm.
Winter kits should also include a bag of kitty litter. If you’re stuck in snow, dig out behind your back tires, pour the litter under them, then rock your car back and forth (reverse, drive, reverse, drive) while being gentle on the gas. The litter will help your tires gain traction and help you dig out.
If you’re worried about a place to keep all of this stuff, measure your trunk and find a tote or two that will sit down in it. You can store quite a bit in one and it will keep things from rolling around.
Your auto kit isn’t something that you want to mess around with. If you’re stuck on the side of the road, it could be hours or even days (depending on the season) before you’re rescued. We’ve all heard the stories of people being stranded in snow and having to walk out. Make sure that yours has everything you need to keep your family safe.