Basic Emergency Items and Procedures For Your Vehicle

These Change as the World Changes, So Keep Updating Your Plan

Automotive Emergency Tool Kit
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Emergency preparedness advice can differ for each individual. It is also contingent upon what part of the world you live in. No guidance will apply to everyone everywhere. You must carefully consider what applies to you and what does not.

No guidelines and lists are definitive. However, what follow is a good start. Remember, as LDS members, we must be self-reliant or at least try to be self-reliant.

By doing so we will be in a better position to extend help to others, especially during emergencies.

Emergencies usually suggest that something is critical and necessary all of a sudden. We must do our best to anticipate possible emergencies. Some needs can be anticipated. Some cannot. We must do the best we can.

Vehicle Safety Procedures

Keep your gas tank full if you can. Doing so will can help alleviate a lot of problems, especially if you get stranded in the cold. For example, it will allow you to quickly evacuate, it will keep your car warm for a while, if waiting for rescue, and it will give your vehicle more weight for traction on icy or snowy roads.

Never let gasoline dip to below one half of a tank during cold weather; otherwise moisture condensation could cause the gasoline to not burn properly. It could also cause your fuel line to freeze.

Current modern oils for vehicles, such as 10W40, are suitable for all ranges of temperature.

However, you need to make certain your oil is full, the oil is clean and the oil filter is clean. Regularly change the oil and oil filter about every 3,000 or 5,000 miles depending on the vehicle's age and make. However, this rule-of-thumb should not hold if the oil and oil filter is not clean.

Make certain the following are in good repair, filled and/or working properly: antifreeze levels, battery and ignition system, brakes, exhaust system, fuel and air filters, heater and defroster, lights and flashing hazard lights, thermostat, windshield wiper equipment, good winter tires with proper air pressure.

Basic Vehicle Emergency Items

The following items will be useful, especially if you get stranded in your vehicle:

  1. Charged cell phone and car charger. The reasons for this are obvious in our digital world. Also, if power is out in your home, you can recharge your items in your vehicle. New vehicles generally come with a built in USB port for charging.

  2. Radio, battery or hand cranked. Emergency radios differ from other radios. Weather radios are also a separate category. Sometimes these features are available in one item, like those sold by the American Red Cross.

  3. Flashlights with extra batteries. Flashlights are sometimes part of emergency radios, like the ones mentioned above.

  4. Basic toolkit which includes pliers, wrench and screwdriver.

  5. Jumper cables, consider these smart cables. Might want to include flares or reflective triangles.

  6. Cat litter or sand. These are used for better tire traction.

  7. Shovel, can be collapsible.

  8. Ice scraper.

  9. First Aid Kit.

  10. Water: You need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days.

  11. Food: non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars. Try to avoid salty foods; as they will make you thirstier.

  12. Manual can opener. Make sure people with arthritis can operate it.

  1. Pet supplies including food, water and first aid kit .

  2. Clothes. This includes warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold

  3. Blankets or sleeping bags.

Other Necessary Emergency Items

The prior 15 items are necessary for anyone. However, depending on you and your family's needs, consider adding the following items.

  • Necessary medications, a seven day supply
  • Necessary medical supplies like syringes
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Feminine supplies
  • Baby supplies like bottles, formula, baby food, diapers, etc.
  • Pet supplies such as collar, leash, carrier, immunization information, photo, etc.
  • Extra glasses, contact lenses and contact lens supplies
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Extra set of house keys
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Family and personal contact information

    Other Additional Emergency Items That Could Prove Useful

    Depending on room available in your vehicle, the following items could be useful:

    • Whistle
    • Water proof matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Other tools/supplies
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items

    Remember, if you are prepared, the less help you will need and the more help you can offer others!