Why do I need a emergency kit in my car?
You need an emergency kit in your car because emergencies can occur at any stage, day or night, sunny or bad weather you need to be prepared to increase the chance of saving yourself or others. Whether you have decided to duck down to the shops or go on a holiday to another town or state you could find yourself in this situation –
- You have an accident (single or multi vehicle)
- You come across someone else who has had an accident or is broken down
- You break down in city or the bush
- You get cut off from home by a flooded road or road closure
- You get lost in the bush or lost after dark
- You need to seek cover in a storm, tornado or the like
- You are taking a road trip in a rural area with limited services and people.
- You have taken the kids for a day out; this always requires extra resources.
- You have a medical event on the road (diabetes, allergic reaction, asthma)
- The trip ends up taking far longer than you expected
Doesn’t matter if it’s looking after yourself or someone else, having the resources on hand as soon as you need them will affect the outcome. An urban car kit can be fairly simple as there are emergency services and utilities nearby. Travelling between towns and there’s a problem, the emergency services are still at the end of the phone but they could be more than half an hour away. It only takes 10 minutes to die.
Emergency kits for your car are just as important as the Emergency kits you have for your home.
Urban travelling kit
Who in the city jumps in their clean car with a couple of shopping bags and not much else? You will still need an emergency kit. Your chances of being involved in a vehicle accident, seeing an accident or being stuck in a traffic jam for hours is much higher. Go sit in your car for 2 hours and see what you are wanting. You want food and water at the very least.
There are other situations which you need to consider when packing your car. Are you traveling with small children or pets? There are laws about child seats and pet restraints. If you are picking up other people’s kids, do they have the required child seat? Pets and kids also have their own needs for food, water, toilet situations, messes, hair shedding (pets mainly). And don’t ever leave kids or pets in a vehicle while you duck into the shops or anything. Cars get hot really fast and you will have another emergency and be in jail.
The comprehensive list of what to pack in an urban vehicle emergency bag can be found in this checklist ‘Vehicles, preparation guide and checklists’ .
Remote Rural travelling kit
Living in more remote rural areas or travelling in more remote rural areas does require you to be more prepared because –
- You may not see anyone all day, so you are completely on your own if an accident was to happen.
- Some rural roads are private roads on private property so don’t have traffic.
- A lot of rural areas have little to no mobile phone reception to call for help.
- Emergency services in remote areas can be limited or hours away.
- Rescue Helicopters have a limited range of fuel before they have to refuel which takes time visiting airports along the journey.
- It may be a day or two before someone works out you are missing. So always tell people where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Follow that up with letting them know when you get there.
- You can get lost on unmarked roads and be no where near your intended destination. The search will start along your intended track, if you told anyone.
Rural roads are not super highways or upkept well. They can be flooded low bridges, washed out, fallen trees, or rough. Rough roads slow you down which takes more time and they can damage your car creating a mechanical problem.
In remote areas you need to be self sufficient until help can arrive or you sort the problem out and continue. Depending on your location you will need to assess if it is better to return home or continue to destination.
There are remote areas where you will see signs ‘no fuel for the next 670km’s’. The usually means there is nothing (food, water, people) for that distance either. Do you know the distance range of your vehicle? And when you arrive at the other petrol station you discover they are out of fuel for the next 3 days when the next fuel tanker is due. Things go slower in the bush.
Small bush towns have limited resources such as food, fuel, accommodation, emergency services, road side assistance. You are relying on the experienced local to fix the problem. And ensure you have extra cash as things are more expensive and some places don’t have EFTPOS or ATM’s for electronic banking.
The comprehensive list of what to pack in a remote rural vehicle emergency kit can be found in this checklist ‘Vehicles, preparation guide and checklists’ .
Adverse driving conditions
Your driving plans can be put out by situations such as
- snow and ice,
- heavy rain and flooding,
- dust storms,
- strong winds,
- mud and the like.
You need to be either prepared for the situation or pull over into a safe area and wait it out (the best option in a lot of situations.) But don’t just stop in the middle of the road or half on the road, half off the road as you become the big hazard for other drivers who can see you and decide they are going to continue driving. And then there’s the idiots that decide they have to get home as fast as possible and speed in the conditions causing more accidents.
Being from north Queensland and never seeing snow I’m not expert on that but you should follow local traffic safety bulletins in any situation and be prepared for the worse. If the weather or driving situation is bad, ask yourself do you really need to go out today.
Every situation is unique, different climates, terrain, and vehicle capability (such as motorbike). Research the hazards in your area and adjust the ‘Vehicles, preparation guide and checklists’ to suit. Just ensure you pack the essentials at least. Talk with your local police station or experienced local to get more information before journeying out to the unknown.
Be prepared and drive safely