The nature of emergencies is such that when you need something, you need it NOW. In area with no cell coverage, traveling with a carload of kids is not the time to find out you have no spare tire as you stare at your flat and dusk approaches.
With that in mind, we have tried to anticipate as many needs as we can and stock our vehicles appropriately.
There is discussion on lots of other sites about BOBs (Bug-Out-Bags) but I will let you peruse them for more information about those. What I want to address is the most likely everyday emergencies you may face and help you to think through what you may need to stock.
Start With Frequent Needs
We have several children, two of which are still in diapers. That means at the top of my list are the various items they need on a constant basis, especially spare outfits, extra diapers, wipes.
I also try to keep at least one water bottle per person stashed in a basket under the console so they are out of the sun. Just today I realized that it’s time to make sure I get bottles of sunscreen and bug repellent back in there too.
A Serious First Aid Kit
Next- something that everyone should probably have- is a serious first aid kit. Not the 50 band-aids and a foil packet of ointment, though I carry one of those in the diaper bag. I mean something that can deal with the cuts and scrapes, but also the headaches, bumps on the head, upset stomachs, and so on.
We beefed up a store-bought version with everything from EMT shears (which I keep in the pocket of my door in case I ever need to cut a seatbelt) to instant ice packs to antihistamines. I can remove a splinter, make a sling, treat a blister, and a host of other things on the spot. That has come in handy any number of times.
Experience Is A Good Teacher
Some experiences we’ve had or that good friends have had also have influenced what we consider to be standard kit supplies.
A Freak Snow Storm
The kids and I were completely unable to get home once this winter in a sudden snowstorm. An “inconsequential snow event” turned out to be very significant for us. The steep roads between us and home were just impassable and closed within 90 minutes of the first flake falling. Fortunately we had a friend who let us stay the night along the route home. But what if we hadn’t?
Even then I realized that I had no access to needed prescription medication taken before bed and my cell phone was nearly dead. I didn’t have a charger in the car either.
Thankfully, I had insisted that all the children take cold weather gear along each day even though they rarely actually wore it, preferring to dash the distance from the car to the buildings rather than bothering to bundle up. But I’m certainly glad we had them that day, as well as a couple of blankets in the car.
Rapidly Rising Water
On another occasion, some extended family members found their neighborhood suddenly swamped with water after 10 inches of rain overwhelmed the local rivers and dams. They could not leave home (without a boat), could not get food, and lost power also. Their daughter needed breathing treatments and they had no way to run the nebulizer. A power inverter is always in our vehicles.
Another friend found himself stranded on the interstate overnight with his son in that same flood. No food, no water, no way to get any. At minimum, we have a zipper bag of granola bars, a jar of peanut butter, and our bottled water.
More To Come
In a future posting, I will give a more complete listing of what we keep in our vehicles, but hopefully this helped you to start thinking of needs you may face.