Emergency Safety Kit
Many drivers don’t think about having an emergency safety kit in their vehicles until it’s too late and they are in desperate need of assistance. Once you or a loved one experiences this kind of desperation, you’ll likely never leave home without an emergency safety kit in your car.
It’s true that having any kind of membership to an auto club that offers roadside assistance does help drivers everywhere out tremendously, but it’s also true that these companies, like AAA, give people a somewhat tainted sense of security when it comes to roadside breakdowns. This false sense of safety with roadside assistance companies is simply due to the fact that cars don’t always breakdown in the most convenient places with good cell reception and tow trucks easily available. If you live in an area with strong winters and breakdown due to road conditions, you could be stuck waiting for an auto club’s roadside assistance to arrive for several hours.
Although a roadside emergency safety kit may not be suitable after a car accident, it becomes essential in so many different situations to help reduce the hassles of breakdowns and sometimes help you fix car troubles without professional assistance. Emergency safety kits really are the one item that every car owner should have on them at all times, and yet almost all of us fail to carry the most basic items on us that help us safely get back on the road when we’re in trouble.
Whether you commute long distances on a daily basis or live in an area with snow and freezing rain, or in a more temperate climate, this article is going to help you be as prepared as you possibly can for any emergency on the road by explaining exactly why you need an emergency safety kit, what they are used for, the types of emergencies that safety kits can help alleviate and the different kinds of kits and how much they cost.
Why You Need an Emergency Safety Kit
Car trouble can never be predicted no matter how well you take care of your vehicle. It’s also important to understand that the basic answer as to why you need an emergency safety kit goes much further than the old adage stuff happens.
It’s extremely important that every vehicle owner tailors their safety emergency kit to the condition and overall age of their car, the weather they typically drive in and their overall driving patterns. It also very important to understand that the overall purpose of having an emergency safety kit and their design is to help people survive until help arrives. Even if you live in an urban area where AAA or other roadside assistance companies can come to your aid at any moment you need an emergency safety kit at all times.
What are they used for?
Being over prepared by having an emergency safety kit is always your safest option, but it takes familiarizing yourself with all of your emergency safety items properly to actually be ready to go when something goes wrong. That way you can fully understand what each item in the kit can be used towards helping save the day.
In order to really comprehend what emergency safety kits are used for it’s essential that you know all of the main items that are in these kits so you can know exactly what to pack in yours, and what to add onto the kit you purchase that may not have everything you need.
The following list will help you plan out what your car’s emergency safety kit will entail:
- First Aid Kit, including:
- Bug spray
- Cotton balls
- Gauze pads
- Ace bandage
- Hand sanitizer
- Antibiotic ointment
- All of these First Aid items are used to help aid any kind of injuries you or any passenger in the car may ensue in the case of an accident.
- Fire extinguisher
- Make sure that you choose a small one that is easy to store in your vehicle.
- Road flares
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight with batteries
- Duct tape
- Multipurpose tool
- Baby wipes/rags
- Tire gauge
- Foam tire sealant
- Drinking water/non-perishable snacks
- Windshield ice scraper
- All of these items can be used for a variety of purposes, and depending on the situation each item can become more multi-faceted and help get you out of your bind faster, or keep you safe until help arrives.
How to Organize Your Emergency Kit
The trunk of your car is typically the best place in any vehicle to keep an emergency kit, and it’s important to keep your kit well organized and easy to use at all times. If you have a truck you should more than likely consider using bungee cords to make sure it’s secure and not sliding around while you drive.
The following are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while packing up your kit securely:
- Use a large enough plastic, clear container with a secure lid
- Place items tidily in a single layer so they aren’t too difficult to find
- Create and tape a list of what’s in the kit on the outside of the container
- Always replace anything that is used up or becomes expired
Additional Safety Tips
Along with always having an emergency safety kit, the following tips are something to highly consider when it comes to your precautionary measures out on the road:
- Car charger: It’s always important to have your phone charged when you’re on the road, and even though some cars won’t let you charge while the car is turned off there are other alternatives including solar chargers.
- Cash for gas: Many times, you’ll be able to get gas with a card, but if the power is out due to a nasty storm cash could potentially be your only way of getting much needed fuel, so it’s smart to always keep a little bit of money tucked away in your car for emergencies.
- Empty, clean gas jug: This is of course too big to fit in an emergency safety kit, but it’s a smart thing to keep in your car so you can take matters into your own hands if you ever run out of gas within certain circumstances.
- Monitor Fluids: It’s important to do a checkup on all of your fluids before any big road trip, which includes antifreeze, oil, windshield wiper fluid and transmission fluid.
What types of emergencies do safety kits help with?
AAA of the Carolinas has stated that just about one in three drivers per year experiences some kind of roadside breakdown in which their vehicle has abnormal operation issues, mechanical problems or a flat tire.
It cannot be stressed enough that there are no guarantees that your car will not experience a serious issue out on the road no matter how good of shape it’s in or how well it appears.
AAA has also stated that one of their most frequent requests in terms of roadside assistance is replacing or repairing a flat tire. Flat tires can always be hard to avoid, but if you have foam tire sealant and a tire gauge in your emergency kit, you can rather easily get your flat up and safe again so you can drive to the nearest mechanic who can help you out.
One of the main issues when it comes to abnormal operation issues is a dead battery. Having a dead battery is a pretty common problem for people who drive cars that are over 6 years old no matter what make and model you own. It makes sense to always keep a pair of jumper cables on you so no matter where your battery stops working you can get the jump you need from a good Samaritan without the hassles of waiting on AAA to bring their jumper cables.
The truth is, emergency safety kits help out with an endless amount of roadside assistance issues so it would be hard to name all of the emergencies they help with. Overall emergency kits are there to keep you and your family safe when trouble ensues, and that’s what makes them priceless.
How much do they cost?
Although emergency safety kits are priceless in what they can provide they do in fact cost money, so it’s important to distinguish what you personally need out of your emergency safety kit in order to make the most responsible purchasing decision.
Pre-packaged kits are always a pretty good place to begin your search, and they typically range anywhere from $18-70. By keying in roadside emergency kit into Google you’ll be amazed at the different variety that’s available on the market. One of the best pre-packaged car emergency safety kits is from survival-supply.com, and it costs $69.95 and provides just about everything you’ll need.
You can always assemble a homemade emergency kit, and even if you buy a pre-packaged kit you’re more than likely going to want to add to it to make it a more appropriate asset to your life. When considering creating a homemade kit or beefing up a pre-packaged one, consider the following:
- Modify your kit to the weather in your area — Depending on where you live you can add or subtract items from your kit.
- Provide items that best suit your family’s needs — Kids and pets need special assistance like diapers, dog treats, a water bowl, dehydrated food, etc.
- Have back-up kits ready to go — You don’t necessarily need to buy a bunch of safety kits, but always make sure you’ve got a backup kit somewhere safe just in case you’ll need a little extra precaution for certain road trips.