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Important Car Kit Items for Emergency Weather. By Extraordinary Eagle Scout and Pharmacy Intern, Paul Fina.

Hey, everyone. This is pharmacy intern/Eagle Scout Paul Fina here with some friendly advice stemming from the Boy Scout motto, “be prepared”.

With the recent snowfall, cold temperatures, and icy roads, right now is the perfect opportunity to talk about emergency preparations for any situation you might experience while driving. Roadside emergencies happen with new and old cars, experienced drivers, and in all weather conditions, so it’s important to have a quality emergency kit in your vehicle. You might even have some of these items in your car already!

The Basics – Items that should be in a kit.

1.      Auto-Club or Roadside-Assistance Number – If you have this perk, make sure you also have the necessary information to use it.

2.      Blanket and Winter Hat – The hat will let you cover an unclothed part of your body and a blanket creates insulation against the cold.

3.      Bottled Water and Non-perishable Food – Just in case you are stuck for an extended period of time. Include more water than you think that you’ll need. It’s easy to become dehydrated, even in the cold.

4.      Cellphone Charger – Your best tool for getting out of any icy situation is your phone, but it must be charged in order for you to use it!

5.      Duct Tape – A very flexible tool that can be used to make and fix a number of things.

6.      Empty Gas Can – Only use this option if you are on a major highway or know where a gas station is located.

7.      First Aid Kit – Choose a kit that can treat small cuts, burns, and includes major bandages.

8.      Flashlight and Batteries – Choose one that is both bright and weatherproof. You may want one that can be worn or is free standing so that your hands are free for another task.

9.      Jumper Cables – These are easy to use and great if a second car is available.

10.  Matches and Parraffin Wax Candles in a Coffee Can – The coffee can can be used for warming your water.

11.  Petty Cash – Include coins and small bills. Cell phones don’t always work and pay phones still exist.

12.  Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench – Many vehicles are purchased with these items already on board.

Nice but not necessary items

1.      Basic Tool Kit – Include a set of sockets and open-ended wrenches, a multi-tip screwdriver, and pliers.

2.      Clothing – Keep an extra set of clothing so you can change if your clothes become wet or dirty. An old coat is a great addition where you can also store gloves, a whistle, and a winter hat in the pockets.

3.      Extra Fuses – Many electrical problems can be fixed with a simple replacement of one of these. Make sure to purchase an assortment.

4.      Flares – Light and prevent them from rolling with rocks or a stand. Flares are a great tool to make other drivers aware you might need help.

5.      Small Folding Shovel – You can use this to try and gain traction in the snow–you dig?

6.      Towline – A tool for any good Samaritan that comes by to haul you home.

It’s also important to periodically check on your emergency kit and make sure everything is in working order – batteries are charged, first aid kit is current, water is fresh, and food is unspoiled. You should never leave your vehicle, as it provides you with shelter and insulation against the cold.

Safe Travels!

Paul

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