Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Car Emergency Kits

2015 Porsche Boxster Spyder - image courtesy of Porsche
The Boy Scout motto to always be prepared is actually solid advice for everyday life. You never know when your plans can be dramatically changed by a series of unforeseen events. At the very least you might be inconvenienced, and at the worst you could lose your life. One area where you need to be especially prepared is when you take to the road during the summer months.

Many people drive long distances for summer vacations or outings. While most drivers perceive clearly at least some of the dangers in driving on winter roads, many fail to understand that driving during the warm summer months comes with a different set of risks. You should create an emergency kit that is just for summer conditions, leaving out the winter gear like tire chains that will unnecessarily weigh your vehicle down.

Following are some ideas of what you can and should include in your kit. You don't necessarily have to match all of the equipment exactly, which means you shouldn't feel pressured to go out and purchase a whole shopping cart of items.

First off, you will need a strong, durable container to keep the items in your kit together. The size of the box should make it so it fits easily in your car and accommodates all of the items you decide to include. The best way to do this is to look around your house for a container you aren't currently using, such as a small plastic bin or a box.

Bring along a backup battery charger for your cell phone. If your car dies and you cannot use your usual phone charger, one that has an independent battery is the best kind of backup. Of course, there is the possibility that you could run into trouble outside of cell coverage, which is why having a backup power source is not a foolproof plan.

Always pack at least a small first aid kit. Even if you don't run into a major problem during a trip, having things like bandages and ointment can help take care of a small wound. Packing other emergency medical supplies, including any medications you need to take regularly, could make the difference between life and death.

You should never set out on a long car trip without packing food and water. Even if you don't plan on consuming anything while on the road, having extra food and water could save your life in the event that you become stranded. During the hot summer months, taking along extra water is a smart move not only to help prevent dehydration, but also to use if your car overheats.

Bring along at least some basic tools. Having a couple of screwdrivers, some pliers, a hammer and other tools can help out greatly if your car breaks down and you for whatever reason cannot call for help. With the right tools you might be able to patch things together long enough to reach civilization.

Take along a light blanket. Even though it's hot, in many areas it can become a little on the cool side at nights. If your car is completely disabled, you won't be able to run the heater at all, but a light blanket can keep you warm. A blanket is also helpful for administering first aid since most accident victims go into shock and need to be warmed up.  

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