Many people, both in their personal and professional lives, take emergency preparedness for granted when they're on the road. However, while your car may come complete with jumper cables, a lug wrench and a modest jack, there are numerous other tools and supplies you'll need if you find yourself stranded. If you're a business owner or manage the use of company cars, learning how to pack a car emergency kit properly is of utmost importance - you can't simply throw some bandages in the glove compartment and hope for the best.
Packing your emergency kit
The Department of Motor Vehicles notes that it's important to first make sure you have all the necessary tools to change a tire, which should be stored in their designated spot in the car. However, the organization advises that drivers carry more than two dozen other supplies in case of an emergency, including a robust roadside first aid kit. These supplies can be stowed away in the trunk of your vehicle in a crate or sturdy cardboard box. Be cognizant of which items may expire and need replacement and ensure they are replaced as needed.
In case of an emergency
Packing a comprehensive emergency kit is just the beginning when it comes to being prepared in case you get in an accident or stranded on the side of the road. In case of an emergency, your kit should be well organized and easily accessible. The DMV recommends that you and others using the vehicle do a practice run to become familiarized with the location of your emergency supplies and how to use them.
This trial run is particularly useful in case you or an employee gets stranded in the winter because staying warm becomes a top priority and it may take longer for help to arrive, especially if you have no means of calling a towing service or other roadside assistance. In such situations, knowing how to utilize an emergency kit is key. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises having a clean empty can and waterproof matches on hand to melt snow into drinking water, as well as sand to provide traction under stuck tires. Imagine if you found these materials and had no understanding of their purpose. Knowing how to use these supplies in an emergency may make it possible to navigate the situation more safely and efficiently.