When it comes to having your car or vehicle prepared, it’s more than just regular maintenance, it’s having with you what you need to handle an emergency if one were to arise. Here is part two of few lists for car preparedness for emergencies. Read below to see what else you should keep in your car trunk for emergencies.
Being Prepared for Vehicle Problems (Continued):
In addition to specific issues in first post on Car Preparedness for Emergencies, here are some more helpful items for all issues:
- Road flares – Signalling a disabled vehicle makes it more safe to change tires, etc.
- Gloves – You need to protect your hands, and very helpful if you have car problems in cold weather. I prefer a fitted pair but you can also buy a set of 12 cheaper leather gloves as well and keep sets all over the place in the car, the garage, bug-out-bag, etc.
- Large flashlight – You’ll need something that you can set on the ground and aim at your tires, or hang inside the engine compartment safely. Old-timers know the quality and workmanship of a classic Maglite, but there’s a chance those D-cells will be dead by the time you need it. Then there’s the rechargeable Maglite with the 12Vdc charger, which means you can now keep this in your vehicle under-charge until you need it. Want something cheaper and maybe smaller? How about this flashlight that plugs into your cigarette lighter and stays charged?
- Duct tape – Useful for sealing leaks and lots of other survival needs.
- Socket Set – Get metric or inch depending on your vehicle. I found that most sets don’t cover the full range you might need, so be prepared to get smaller (down to 8mm for metric) sockets as well.
- Screwdrivers (short and long) – Philips and flat.
- Pliers (needlenose, slip joint) – Something to grab a hold of things when the crap hits the fan.
- Rollup tool bag – I have this exact one in my car keeping my screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches all in place and not banging into each other. Quiet and organized!
There’s a chance that if you can’t get your car working, you’re going to have to wait for help. And if your travels are going to take you off the beaten path, the wait might be long. In those cases, add a few extras to your car before you start your expedition.
- Water – You can use 500 mL bottles if you rotate them out every week to prevent leakage from the plastic. Or you can get shelf-stable water meant for cars. I’d keep an empty refillable bottle to fill up with your filtration system as well.
- Water filtration – A Sawyer Mini system or a LifeStraw are a great item to keep in your trunk.
- Food – Something that is temperature resistant and a long shelf life that you won’t have to cook. Long shelf-life energy bars are a good option.
- Weather-appropriate extra clothing – Thick socks, windproof and rainproof fleece blanket, stocking hat are all good to keep in the trunk, and they don’t take up much room.
Then there’s the kit of food, water, and emergency blanket for one (1) person for three (3) days with a 5-year shelf life. At right around $25, that’s $5 per year!
These were mentioned in the car first aid kit list as add-ons, but it’s work mentioning again here. These help out if you can’t get your vehicle moving again and either need to stay overnight or get someone else’s attention.
- Emergency blanket – In addition for survival situations, it helps treat for shock.
- Snaplights – Good quality chemical lights will provide emergency light and can be used as a substitute for road flares in a pinch. Non-heat generating, safe to hand-hold. You can wave them to get attention from passing cars. Get good quality yellow lights like Cyalume 6″ Snaplights.
- Whistle – Useful for rescue operations or just plain getting someone’s attention. I prefer a metal whistle versus plastic for durability.
A couple of other items that can really help out,
- Emergency Escape Tool – I have the original Lifehammer; you can get a copy for a bit less, but is it worth it?
- Poncho – If you don’t have a Frogg Toggs, why even bother?
With these lists, you can prepare for minor fixes or, if they don’t work, a stay in your car overnight.
Are there things you keep in your car “just in case” that you think others should know about? Feel free to comment below!
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