What should you have in your car in today’s world?
We are all used to having more stuff as part of our daily use bag or our everyday carry. How does this apply to our car?
There are things we should have that will prove useful, and not necessarily what you might think. Here are some of the basics past things like car maintenance stuff, extra fluids and rags and work gloves and such in case you need to get dirty.
Personal Hygiene and safety gear. Masks, gloves, face shields, sanitizers, wipes, alcohol. Whatever is needed in your environment that you personally now carry, only enough for others as well. And a manageable bag to carry it in.
Food and water. Keep some extra bottles of water handy, both full and empty. Also some snacks. This is smart in general but also during these pandemic times when you may not want to interact with others but need sustenance.
Medicines you may need. It doesn’t hurt to have extras stashed in your car, maybe copies of prescriptions as well.
Personal toiletries, like a pee bag, plastic bags and even toilet seat papers and wet wipes.
Charging gear for your phone. You will probably have a cord to connect to your car but you may also want to bring an extra plug-in wall charger and cord. Because when you ask ER doctors, they will tell you that chargers are the most asked for thing when people visit them. Also include a battery pack, and make sure you have the right cords for it.
Extra cash. Enough for parking, phone calls, even thank-you for those that may help you. Or pay for gas if power is out.
Then there is some just-in-case stuff.
A proper multi-tool. Not one of those cheap giveaways that may break on you, a good one.
A First-Aid Kit, and the ability to use it. Even things like band-aids and scissors and such can come in handy, but there’s nothing wrong with taking first-aid classes as a family or group.
Emergency Medical Information. Do you or those that travel with you have allergies or special medical conditions?
Pen and Paper or notebook with detachable sheets. This is very useful on a regular basis, and especially now if you need to say something to a building or village guard and don’t want to roll down your window or interact. Also if you do have an accident it allows you to write down your thoughts, make sketches, give others notes such as if your car needs to be towed.
Emergency Contact Information, phone numbers and emails. This should include family members and possibly specific doctors you may need, but others as well. Know a towing service you can call, we use the AAP. Having your insurance agent’s information on hand is very useful, and in some cases especially when travelling it pays to know the numbers of good car accident lawyers. Hopefully though you never need these.
Some people go as far as preparing a walk-home bag with extra shoes, clothes, a backpack and so on. This isn’t that far-fetched a need when you realize that floods lately have risen unexpectedly in many parts of the world. You may need to park your car (if you can) and walk somewhere. Remember though that you need to be able to carry the bag, so don’t overload it.
All of these and more tell us that we need to be more prepared than ever. Things we take for granted in regular use may suddenly be crucial. Use this list as a way to start thinking about being better prepared, and revisit it often and adjust as needed. Your mindset is your most valuable tool.