Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vehicle Emergency Kit

Here's a little kit I put together a while back for my vehicle. And yes, it was in the suburban when I had the flat tire, so if it had happened somewhere where Incident Management Team was not available to fix my jack issue, I would not have died waiting for my sweet husband to come save me. I've had a partial kit thrown in and out in no particular container for some time, but figured I'd better get it organized so stuff wasn't floating around and I'd know what I had. So I swiped an Action Packer container sweet husband hadn't used in months (you know, the one from the food room) and packed it up. This also served to make some more space in my food room to put a couple buckets of oats . . . :)

This kit takes minimal space in the back of my suburban and could easily fit in a car trunk as well. Yeah, you'll have to pack your groceries around it, but it's worth it to have a little preparedness with you!

We only have the one vehicle. If you have more than one, make one for each one you drive, or be ready to swap your kit over to the car you're driving that day. Here's what's in my kit (most of it's in the picture):
Bottled Water
Flashlight (the shaky kind--I'm actually not a real fan of this flashlight, but had an extra so in the kit it went. I also have a LED light on my key ring.)
Batteries if you have the kind of flashlight that takes batteries
Light sticks
Food--I have hard candy, old MRE crackers, and my Homemade Survival bar bricks
A couple of cheapo rain ponchos
A couple of cheapo space blankets
Wet wipes
Toilet paper roll (anybody with kids has experienced this emergency)
Diapers/Feminine needs (okay, I don't have diapers in mine since my kids are thankfully past that stage, but I used to keep diapers in the car when we used them and a change of pants/clothes for the diaper wearer or potty trainer)
Basic first aid kit (can't tell you how many times we've needed a bandaid at a ball game or the park)
Hand warmers
A cute little buddy burner like cub scouts make with the cardboard rolled up in the tuna fish can and then doused in wax (just had one of these laying around, so I tossed it in)
Fire starting stuff in an old cookie tin (matches and dryer lint firestarters)
Hand sanitizer
Long sleeves for everybody (light jacket or button up shirt)
A box to hold it all
Cash (coins and bills) or a prepaid visa card thingy (stashed discreetly)
Outside the box:
Jumper cables, tool kit, extra car fluids (oil, power steering fluid, wiper fluid, antifreeze, etc.)
Jack, tire iron (which I now have both of ;-)
That's about it. Seriously, we can't all drive around with Incident Management Team's truck of goodies (what a shame), but your car is naked without some gear in it! Plus, you'll feel better driving around knowing you won't be one of those people stranded for days who survived on chewing gum and restaurant mints until somebody happened to find them.
Don't stop now! Click comments and read on for more great ideas!


HermitJim said...

This is so true...and i was caught with my pants down and with the shortage of certain objects when I went to pick up my trailer.

Thanks for the reminder...

Anonymous said...

I have a similar kit in my vehicles. Mine also has road flares, road triangles, extra ammo for my pistol, and a battery jumper device.

Anonymous said...

What a great list! Glad you have multiple water bottles, those would be gone in no time in the dead of summer. Every car should definitely have something like this.

Gracie said...

Those handy little dryer lint firestarters are too cool. I remember making both those and the tuna fish can burners too. Thanks for the reminder. My boys will love helping me with these.

Bitmap said...

Don't forget a tire plug kit (and know how to use it) and and air pump.

I keep a complete set of clothes, including underwear, a hat, boots, and work gloves in all my vehicles.

Get at least one replacement for every fuse in the vehicle.

Add duct tape, tie wraps (also known as cable ties) and baling or fence wire.

A multi-tool or a couple of screwdrivers, a pocket knife, and pliers.

Angela's Mom said...

I have some of the same brand wipes-to-go and they dry out after a bit, so you should check those a couple times a year. I've opened them and added water rather than buy new ones.

Angela said...

Jim-sometimes those times are the best incentive to get something put together!

Hermit-Ahhhh, extra pistol ammo! Great idea! And the road flares, etc would be handy also . . . have to look into those.

preparednesspro-ask my mom about our trip to see petroglyphs in July when the car wouldn't start and how glad we were someone else had some extra water from their camping trip we could drink while we worked on it! In fact, I'll probably put a few more bottles in.

Gracie-I love those firestarters! Thanks for your comment!

Bitmap-Got the tire repair kit in the toolbox along with pliers, wrenches, socket set, screwdrivers, wire. And I always have my baby leatherman with me--it's almost useful on large jobs, but has a knife/pliers/file/etc. A whole change of clothes is good, especially if you're usually out in your fancy white collar work clothes ;) I'm usually in my casual clothes and good shoes, but if you normally wear heels (no, not YOU Bitmap) a good pair of walking shoes would be a must in the car kit. Good suggestions!

Mom-I DID add water to those before putting them in. Weird. Did we buy those wipes together? They've been around the house here for a long time. Probably as long as you've had yours! ;)

Angela's Mom said...

I ordered a case of those wipes a couple of years ago for our August family camping extravaganza- or whatever you want to call that :) - and handed out a few packages to everyone and kept some. So, even unused, unopened, they still dried out.

Anonymous said...

A small stash of bungee cords are nice as well.

I just checked the flashlights in both vehicles, the batteries were weak in one and dead in the other. Good thing I discovered it now, rather than at night, in the rain...