Ideas For A Winter Time Emergency Preparedness Kit For Car, Truck or Van
In an emergency, having preparedness is the most crucial key to survival. Emergencies are more likely to happen during the winter time, due to adverse weather conditions.
Slipping and sliding off of the road, car troubles, and hurting ones self happen on a frequent basis. What you do before any of this happens can make all of the difference.
Take some time to prepare a winter time emergency kit for your car, truck, or van. The following is a list of items and ideas to place into a kit, just in case the worst should happen to you or your family.
First, get a small box that will fit easily into your trunk, back area of your van, or into your back seat floor area. It is best to have it somewhere in your vehicle within easy reach, in case you cannot get one of your doors open. It can be cardboard, or one of the many plastic or rubber material boxes available from most retail stores.
Here is a small list of items to place into the box, but anything that you think you could use, depending on your location or where you are traveling to, would be a good idea.
Flashlight : A small flashlight, especially of a metal casing, is an invaluable tool when emergencies occur. You will not always have the best lighting available, and having even a small flashlight on hand can make even an inconvenient situation easy to handle. Make sure the batteries are fresh, and that you place a spare set into the box. Alternatively, flashlight models are available which work by “pumping” or priming the charge by hand before use. The prices for these flashlights are inexpensive, but bear in mind that if you need light quickly, this may be an inconvenience.
Canned Food : A few small cans of food which can be eaten raw, or easily prepared, such as soup, vegetables, stews, or sardines, is a wonderful addition for your emergency kit. Sometimes, accidents occur where you are not within the field of civilization, and you might be stuck there for a longer period of time. If you are prepared ahead of time, what could have been a fight for survival will be a simple waiting period. Other foods, such as crackers, trail mix, or candy bars, can be used for quick sources of energy, as well as variety, but bear in mind that you will need to rotate them out to prevent stale product. Also, do not forget a small can opener.
Fire Gel : Fire gels are small containers of a suspended flammable fuel, like alcohol, which, once lit, provide a long lasting, safe source of fire. These can be used as a source of heat for yourself, to cook food, or to melt ice or snow to drink. Having a few of these on hand can make all the difference in an emergency situation. You should place a book of matches or a lighter in the box, as well.
Ice Pick : This item actually should be within handy reach, instead of in your box. Place the ice pick in your glove box or otherwise easy to reach place. It has been shown that car windows can be exceedingly difficult to break, and during an emergency, having a sharp, metal instrument will break the window out much easier, and safer, than trying to use your hands. An ice pick can also be used to gather ice chips to melt for drinkable water.
Hand Warmer : There are many commercial brands of hand warming chemicals in bags, that, when the package is opened and exposed to air, will work very well to provide a source of warmth. These are not just limited to your hands, of course; they can be placed anywhere on your body that needs the heat.
Newspaper or Magazine : These are very useful to have on hand. Not for reading, however; the pages can be torn out and balled up, to be placed within your clothing as insulation against the cold. It is well known that doing this can retain a good amount of your body heat, saving you from hypothermia.
Tire Inflation : Commercial products are available from most gas stations and retail stores to re-inflate a flat tire. These are easy to use, by simply putting the end of the nozzle onto your tire stem, and, following the instructions, releasing the chemical into your tire. Doing this will patch most leaks in a tire, and will give you enough inflation to get to where you can have the tire fixed. Doing, this, however, will probably ruin the life time of your tire, so bear that in mind; however, being stuck with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, and especially in the freezing cold, is no time to be concerned with your tire's warranty.
First Aid Items or Kit : There are quite a few small, convenient, first aid kits available for purchase, and having one is invaluable. Ensure it has band aids, medicines, such as aspirin, and disinfectant.
Blanket : Finally, you can cover the whole box with a folded blanket, to keep out dust and dirt, which can then be used to cover up when in the cold.
There are many other possibilities to put into the winter time emergency kit. These are just a few to get you started. Above all else, staying calm and not panicking are the most important things you can do when an emergency happens. Being prepared ahead of time will help you do just that.