Vehicle necessities

Cover unexpected occurrences with these important kits
By Amy Higgins
Vehicle necessities

With travel, come surprises. Many times they are pleasant and fun surprises, but, occasionally, not so much. It’s a good idea at any time to have these items in your car, SUV, van or truck, but especially to have them on a road trip.

First aid

Keeping a first-aid kit in your vehicle helps you handle burns, falls and illnesses. Your first-aid kit should be readily accessible. Don’t pack it under your luggage.

The American Red Cross recommends a family of four have these items in a first-aid kit:

  • Two absorbent compress dressings, 5-by-9 inches
  • 25 adhesive bandages, assorted sizes
  • One adhesive cloth tape, 10-yards long, 1-inch wide
  • Five antibiotic ointment packets
  • Five antiseptic wipe packets
  • Two packets of aspirin (81 milligrams each)
  • One blanket
  • One breathing barrier with one-way valve
  • One instant cold compress
  • Two pair of non-latex gloves, large
  • Two hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • Scissors
  • One roller bandage, 3 inches wide
  • One roller bandage, 4 inches wide
  • Five sterile gauze pads, 3-by-3 inches
  • Five sterile gauze pads, 4-by-4 inches
  • Oral thermometer, non-mercury/nonglass
  • Two triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First-aid instruction booklet
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cotton swabs

Car or truck emergencies

If your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck in mud, this kit can help get your car or truck moving again. Also, it’s good to have it in case you have to evacuate your home due to severe weather.

The American Red Cross suggests you pack your emergency car kit with these items:

  • Battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone
  • Blanket
  • Booster cables
  • Fire extinguisher, 5-pound, A-B-C type
  • Bottled water and non-perishable, high-energy foods such as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter
  • Map (even if you have a GPS)
  • Shovel
  • Flares
  • Tire repair kit and pump
  • Matches and survival candle that can burn for several hours

There are other factors to consider. For example, if you’re stuck for a long time, you will need to go to the bathroom. Go above and beyond and add these items, suggested by Allstate insurance, to your first-aid kit:

  • Toilet paper
  • Trash bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Bar of soap
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Feminine protection
  • Zip-top bags in various sizes
  • Water
  • LED flashlights and/or headlamps
  • Rain ponchos
  • Tarp
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Sunblock
  • Whistle
  • Pepper spray

About the Author

Amy Higgins writes for Colorado Country Life magazine and lives in Centennial, Colo.

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