Holidays are the time of year when much long distance traveling is done. Going home to visit families, often leaving after work in the dark, and frequently encountering bad weather, can put travelers in jeopardy. Add to that the fact that tires can get punctures, gas tanks can get empty and engines can overheat when you least expect it. Having a road side emergency kit in your car at all times will often save you time and money, and may even save your life. We’ve expanded Edmunds.com’s extensive list of items to keep in your vehicle. Make sure that you include items to keep you and your passengers warm in case your break down leaves you stranded in the cold. Some of the basic items include:
- 12-foot jumper cables
- Four 15-minute roadside flares
- Two quarts of oil and Gallon of antifreeze
- First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)
- Wool blanket or sleeping bag
- Extra clothes and boots/shoes (for winter: coat, hat gloves and scarf)
- Extra fuses
- Flashlight and extra batteries, lighted headband or lighted brimmed cap
- Tools to include:Flat head screwdrivers, Phillips head screwdrivers, Pliers, Vise Grips, Adjustable wrench
- Tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat) and Tire pressure gauge
- Rags and Roll of paper towels
- plastic garbage bags for trash and to help insulate feet
- A couple of old newspapers to use for insulation under coats
- Roll of duct tape and Roll of reflective tape for visibility
- Windshield washer fluid and Anti-freeze
- Ice scraper and kitty litter or sand for tire traction
- fire extinguisher (5 pound, A-B-C type)
- tow rope or chain
- Whistle, compass and Road maps
- Dollar bills and quarters, dimes and nickels
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- gas can, 2 gallon size plus funnel & short hose for siphoning
- hand warmer packs
- Pen and paper and Help sign or strip of white cloth
- Cell phone & charger
- Granola or energy bars – dried fruit, peanut butter crackers, canned goods; remember a manual can opener and basic eating utensils
- Bottled water – a case or a gallon as fits
- Book, puzzle or other non-battery operated item to pass the time
- Heavy-duty nylon bag or two to carry it all
The most important tip is to familiarize yourself with all the items in your car road-side emergency kit, how you have them arranged, and how to use them properly.
Running of Fumes
The ever-fluctuating, and often rising price of gasoline, is causing people to stretching the life of their gas tank to a maximum. But in an emergency, a nearly empty gas tank can create some real challenges.
When natural disasters hit, such as flooding, hurricaines or landslides, people often need transportation to flee the area and find safety. A gas tank less than half full may not allow you to travel as far as necessary, and could place you in a more challenging situation if you run out of fuel and end up on the side of the road.
Get Peace of Mind
Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to keep their gas tank above half. While this requires more frequent stops at the gas station, it can provide peace of mind.
July 11, 2011 Every Needful Thing
Jason M. Carlton
Vehicle Safety Kit
Are you planning to travel 100 miles for your family vacation, or more than 1,000 miles? Regardless of the length, it is important to assure you are prepared while out on the road. It is recommended that you also carry a vehicle safety kit in addition to a first aid kit while on the road.
Find a bag or container that can hold all of these materials, and store it someplace in your car that can be easily accessible.
• Flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries
• Booster cables
• Blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing
• Bottled water
• First aid kit
• Emergency candles and matches
• Windshield scraper
• Signal flares
• Utility knife
• Sack of sand
• Small amount of money in small increments
Service Your Vehicle
One of the most important things to do before you hit the road is to take the time to service your vehicle. This includes changing the oil, checking tire pressure (including the spare tire), and checking all fluids.
A vacation is much more enjoyable when you don’t spend it along the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
Have a great vacation and be sure to wear your seatbelt, too.
July, 2011 Every Needful Thing
Jason M. Carlton