Let me guess, you know you should have an emergency kit in your car, but you've never gotten around to it? You think about it while driving, but by the time you've exited your car, fed the kids, walked the dog, paid the bills, meditated on how not to get angry at the office intern, your lack of an emergency kit has completely slipped your mind. Life happens.
Just in case you haven't heard it enough: Every vehicle should have a properly stocked emergency kit. So take the time to add it to your to-do list right now! Maybe you're ahead of the game and you have an emergency kit, but you don't update it seasonally. You're asking for trouble. What exactly goes into that kit depends on the driver, the car, and the season.
In New England, it's no shocker that you will need an emergency driving kit for fall and winter. Create the kit yourself, and you'll know what is inside in the event of an accident. If you have multiple drivers for the same car, make sure everyone knows where the kit is and all of the items inside.
Every car should have a fire extinguisher, jumper cables, road flares, and a simple tool kit. For the colder months, you'll need a small shovel, ice scraper, and something for road traction like sand. You'll also want to pack a good pair of gloves, a hat, and blankets. A stocked first-aid kit is another must-have item. Make sure you haven't run out of band-aids and check that nothing has expired. If possible, pack any medications you can't do without.
Proper vehicle maintenance of most cars will ensure you won't need to bring antifreeze and oil. Check your fluids and regularly take your car in for service. Make sure your brakes are good, and don't forget your defroster, heater, and tires.
Not all times your emergency kit may come in handy will be life-or-death scenarios. If you're stranded for a considerable amount of time waiting for a repair truck, you may want water and snacks. Choose food items that can be eaten if it's really hot or really cold. If you have children or pets, make sure you think about them too. Consider storing a deck of cards or fun game kids can play while they wait. What happens if you have engine trouble on some rural Vermont road and the iPad's battery is low? Prevent the apocalypse by packing some games and thank us later.
If you have to leave your car, you should leave a note telling people where you've gone. A flashlight with extra batteries, or a flashlight that operates without batteries, will help others see you if you're walking near or on the road.
It should go without saying, but you also want to make sure every driver knows how to use the items in the kit. For example, if your teenage son is stranded on the side of the road without cell service, does he know where the roadside flares are and how to use them? Could your wife figure out the multi-purpose tool? If these tools are not accessible to everyone, they're not going to be much help. It's time to prepare yourself for the endless eye rolling and show your teen how to use the fire extinguisher.
If you still aren't convinced you need an emergency kit for your vehicle, or you never really wrote yourself a reminder to finally make one, there's good news. Leave us a review on Google and you'll automatically be entered to win a travel safety gift package. It's a really great start to a stellar emergency kit. You have until October 15th to be entered in this drawing. If you already have an emergency kit, great! You know fire extinguishers have expiration dates, right? Check that everything is still usable and updated for colder weather, and you'll be ready to hit the road.
P.S. Don't know how to leave a review on Google? We'll walk you through it here.