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Car Emergency Preparedness - When the Going Gets Tough!

By: Lorrie Streeter | Jan 10 2010 | 689 words | 975 hits

If you own a vehicle, as most of us do these days, it is important to keep an emergency survival kit in it at all times. It should be kept someplace where it can be easily accessed (perhaps under the front passenger seat). Since you are usually located within close proximity of your vehicle, you can easily gain immediate access to your emergency supplies in a disaster situation.

Many types of disasters can strike while you are in your car - snow or ice storms in winter, floods in spring, and hurricanes, tornados or lightning storms in summer and fall. Your survival will depend on how well you have prepared ahead.

Just like a home emergency survival kit, every car emergency kit should contain the basics - water, food, shelter, warmth and first aid for one person (or family) to survive for 72 hours. Basic tools for car repair and maintenance should also be included. When you create your emergency car kit, you can personalize it to your own needs. You may need to add an extra pair of glasses, baby or pet items or prescription medications.

Your car survival kit should be in a backpack or bag small enough to fit in your car. It should include:

 Food (granola bars, dried fruit, crackers, etc. - avoid items that will melt or spoil quickly) and water for 72 hours - keep all items well sealed
 Blankets (wool is best but if it is too itchy try a solar blanket) or a down sleeping bag
 Hat (most heat is lost through the head), scarf, mittens (best) or gloves, boots (extra clothing}
 First-aid kit - including personal medications
 AM/FM radio and extra batteries or hand crank type (no batteries required)
 Candles and waterproof matches or a lighter
 Flashlight and spare batteries or hand crank type
 Toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper
 Soap and/or hand sanitizer
 Pet supplies and proper documentation (license, immunization records)
 Antifreeze to keep the gas from freezing - can also be used in place of windshield wiper fluid
 Axe or hatchet (a hammer might also be useful)
 Compass and maps
 Type ABC fire extinguisher
 Ice scraper, shovel, brush
 Booster or jumper cables, tow chain, traction mats
 Basic car repair kit
 Sand or salt for tire traction - kitty litter also works well
 Duct tape and knife or multi-purpose tool
 Warning lights, road flares or a strip of red cloth to tie on to the car antenna
 Cell phone
 Whistle
 Playing cards, books, games or other items that do not require batteries

You may want to add a few items to be used in case of an accident. Some extra items may include a disposable camera, and a pad of paper and pencil or pen to record the scene and any witness information.

Some personal items might also come in handy. You might want to consider the following:

 Blush, lipstick and mascara
 Razor and shaving cream
 Sanitary knapkins and/or tampons
 Hairbrush or comb

These items are not necessarily essential to your survival but they can go a long way to improving your emotional balance thus helping you to cope with a little more optimism. Let's face it. The better you feel the more likely you will be able to deal with the situation.

Although it can seem like a daunting task to put a survival kit together, it can actually be a very easy and interesting project. The greatest challenge can be organizing your kit with the least amount of layout of cash. Start by looking around your home for those items you already have. Add a few items each week if you need to buy things. Food and water are the most important items, followed by a blanket or sleeping bag for keeping warm. If you are not interested in organizing your own kit, you can purchase one already made and just add any extra items you want included in your pack.

One important tip: Remember to always let someone know what time you left and what time you expect to arrive at your destination. By taking these precautions, you can prepare your family for an emergency and feel more confident as you travel.

Be Prepared - Before Disaster Strikes!


About author:
Lorrie Streeter has been involved in emergency preparedness for over 25 years. She also writes for the site http://www.SurvivalStreet.com which offers 72-hour survival kits, emergency food and water, first-aid, and other preparedness items.
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