Auto Preparedness and Safety
A car, by design, is usually equipped with many safety features that
range from the car's structure and design to front and side air bags.
In general, each car has the essentials: spare tire and jack, an
owner's manual, gas gauge, mileage indicator, door side panels for maps
and some cars are now equipped with a Global Positioning System which
can navigate and guide driving. Anyone who has been lost can understand
the fear and frustration that is apparent during that situation.
Technological advances can eliminate getting lost anymore. These
options (and more) are available to us when we purchase a vehicle.
However, these wonderful and exciting features do not have the power to
sustain life during an emergency. There is no comparison to food,
water, shelter, and peace that comes from being prepared, even in a
vehicle. Recommendation of auto emergency kit:
- Water for drinking and cooking
- Food and snacks. Compressed high calorie food bars are excellent because of their ability to withstand extreme temperatures.
- Flashlight with batteries (be sure to store extra batteries, batteries last longer in LED flashlights).
- First aid kit with burn care gel.
- Sanitation and sundry items including soap. Hand sanitizer is a great idea because it does not require any water.
- Maps and compass.
- AM/FM radio. It is recommended to have a radio with more than one source of power.
- Chemical light sticks are recommended because of their safety.
- Road flares can be used but are not as safe as the light sticks.
- Candle with waterproof matches. Remember, in some cases it is not be wise to light a match in case of gas leak.
- Emergency blanket or bag.
- Extra clothing.
Other useful items to remember:
- Jumper Cables
- Auto repair kit
- Always maintain at least ½ tank of gas.
- Cell phone to report any emergency. Many disconnected cell phones may still be able to call ¿911¿ when charged.
- Fire extinguisher
- Paper and pencil for leaving notes or recording any thoughts.
- Toys and other special consideration items for children.
- Books and games for entertainment.
- Short rubber hose for siphoning.
There are many ways to
customize your auto preparedness kit. It is also important to consider
those people with special needs, such as people with diabetes,
hypoglycemia, babies, elderly, people with allergies, or chronic
illness. For a person with diabetes, remember to have extra insulin on
hand. For the person with hypoglycemia, store high protein snacks in
addition to their ration of food. For babies, store extra diapers,
formula, blankets and clothes. If you have no way of calling for help,
tie a bright red piece of cloth on your antenna. This is a universal
symbol for assistance. Remember, however, 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. Remember, preparedness brings peace of mind.