Nobody wants to have mechanical trouble, but sooner or later, it happens to all of us. When our car breaks down in remote areas, though, it may be hours or even days before help arrives. Fortunately, drivers can prepare themselves for just such an event with car survival kits. Here are some things you might want to include in yours:
1. Water is the single most important thing to have on hand in a survival situation. Fortunately it’s relatively cheap to buy it in large packages of individual serving bottles. Picking up one at a grocery or retail store and stashing it in your trunk is a good idea. You may also want to buy water in gallon containers, in case your radiator overheats. If you frequently venture quite far from civilization, you might even want to consider buying a water filter/purifier like hikers and campers use, so you can take advantage of local springs and streams.
2. Food is almost as important as water. Unfortunately, most of the time it’s subject to spoiling or contamination, especially when exposed to the kind of heat we have here in South Texas. Military rations (MREs) keep pretty well and can be bought at army surplus stores or online. Packaged snacks like peanut butter crackers or canned fruit are good choices as well. Canned meats should be avoided, as keeping them in a hot environment can cause rapid spoilage.
3. A first aid kit is an absolute essential. Don’t skimp on it; get a good one. Kits that meet OSHA industrial requirements can be found in warehouse stores or online. They’re good for just about anything you might encounter short of a major medical emergency. If you have Red Cross or formal medical training you might want to get a more extensive kit with splints, wound dressings, and other specialized supplies. Those can be bought online or at backpacking or hunting stores. You might want to include a few days’ worth of any prescription medicines that you or another family member take, tightly sealed in a glass or plastic container. Any pharmacy will be happy to sell you empty medication bottles. Be sure to label them so there’s no guessing what they contain later.
4. A weather radio is a nice item to have, in case you’re left stranded due to storm damage. They can tune into special emergency broadcasts that regular AM/FM stereos can’t pick up. Make certain you keep extra batteries for it in your vehicle.
5. Flares or reflectors are great for nighttime emergencies. They can alert other motorists to your problem as well as prevent vehicles from striking yours, if you were forced to pull off close to the road. Triangular reflectors show up well in headlights and cost very little. If you go with flares, be sure you know how to use them safely. If mishandled, they can cause fires or other safety hazards.
6. Since you never know what the weather will be like when your car decides to break down, you should keep warm clothing as well as rain gear in your vehicle. Blankets and perhaps even a pillow are good to have as well, if space permits. You can find chemical heat packs that fit into shoes or gloves at sporting goods stores. They warm up quickly and are used by hunters to avoid frostbite. They take up little room and can prevent serious trouble on very cold days.
Of course the best way to avoid needing car survival kits is not to have breakdowns in the first place. That’s why you should visit Brake Works for regular vehicle maintenance—not just when you’re already having car trouble. We can keep your oil changed, perform tune-ups, inspect and replace worn belts and hoses, and do all of the other automobile maintenance tasks that will keep your vehicle running problem-free for many years to come. Call us today for an appointment at 210-496-5408. Of course the best way to avoid needing car survival kits is not to have breakdowns in the first place. That’s why you should visit Brake Works for regular vehicle maintenance—not just when you’re already having car trouble. We can keep your oil changed, perform tune-ups, inspect and replace worn belts and hoses, and do all of the other automobile maintenance tasks that will keep your vehicle running problem-free for many years to come. Call us today for an appointment at 210-496-5408.