While two-inches of snow may not seem like a big deal for anyone living up north, it was a big deal for Atlanta. Georgia’s weather is known for being random and sometimes unexpected. In 2013, a snow storm dropped 2 inches of snow on Atlanta in a matter of hours; the roads were overwhelmed by the number of people trying to get home; children were unable to get home from school – it was a mess. Some drivers spent more than 12-hours on the road trying to get home; many were unprepared.
And now, snow and ice again threatens north east Georgia. This time we were better prepared and stayed home. But what if you hadn’t? What if you were stuck out there in the snow-ice? Are you prepared?
Car Emergency Kit – Don’t leave home without one.
Whether it’s snow, ice, ‘oops, I left the lights on’, or running out of gas, you should always carry certain items in your car for emergencies.
First Aid Kit
Little cuts, bumps, and bruises are rather annoying when you don’t have a first aid kit. You should carry the basics plus any specialty equipment based on you and your families medical conditions – inhalers, EpiPens, insulin, etc. Keep a list of emergency contacts and a list of known health condition of your family members (like if you are a diabetic, that would be information that a paramedic would need to know should you be found unconscious).
Here is a basic list from the American Red Cross for a First Aid kit for a family of four:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Flashlight with extra batteries
Carrying a couple of good flashlight and spare batteries is a fanatstic idea. If you break down on the side of the road at night, the flashlight will give you light to make repairs; or if you have to leave your car at night and walk to a safe location, flashlights will help you do so.
Hypothermia is not fun. You may think that you’re safe inside your vehicle but, unless you have house-grade insulation, you’re essentially sitting in a metal can that leaks heat. Get yourself a few good blankets and keep them in your car. They’ll come in handy when you’re stuck in the car in inclement weather or if you get to work early and just want to take a nap.
Water and Food
Carry a few bottles of drinking water and/or a gallon of water plus some granola bars or energy bars. Keeping hydrated is very important as is keeping up your energy levels. Also, the water can come in handy during the summer if your car is over heating and needs more fluid.
For more “must haves” for your car emergency kit, check out our next blog post.