A car crash. Black ice. An engine that dies at the worst time.
It's happened to all of us Your car probably isn't in the best shape afterwards, but what happens if these aggregating things turn out to be something much larger, a struggle between life and death? Can you honestly say you're prepared for the worst?
If you're like the average person, your answer is probably no. Heck, the average person doesn't even have a seat belt cutter, much less a first aid kit. These are the top 30 things to keep in your emergency kit nestled securely behind the passenger seat.
1. Cat litter
Getting stuck is one of the biggest problems that people face when winter hits. It's not too bad when you're at home, but if you lose control of your vehicle and end up on the side of the road... Well, that could be an issue. Cat litter that clumps can give your tires just enough traction to get you out of a bad spot.
2. Flares and reflective triangles
If you can't get unstuck, you lost control of your vehicle and can't get it turned back on, or if you're injured badly enough that you can't drive, flares and reflective triangles can be literal life savers. Placing them in areas where other drivers can see them is a must.
Dehydration will kill you faster than almost anything else. Getting a 12 pack of water bottles from Wal-Mart can be the difference between life and death.
4. Waterproof matches
Waterproof matches are just that: matches that you can strike even when you're stuck in a damp area. If you're stuck on the side of the road and can't get your car to turn on, these could help you get through the night even if they got wet in the snow.
5. Raisins, jerky, protein bars, and other snacks
You don't wait to be munching on your leather boots if you get stuck, do you? Snacks like protein bars, raisins and jerky can help keep you awake and feeling well if you're stuck for an extended period of time... or if you have a hungry toddler. Either one.
6. Manually powered flashlights and candles
Hand-powered flashlights will be your best friend. By cranking the flashlight, you can power the light without worrying about dead batteries. If that's not a viable option, candles are a good backup.
Not into hand-powered flashlights? Have a medical device? Packing a few AA and AAA batteries could be helpful.
8. Distress flags
Distress flags aren't dissimilar to flares and reflective triangles, but the added object never hurts. flag down drivers using these and get help sooner.
9. A whistle
We have three items to grab people's attention, but why not add a fourth? Loud whistles can both attract the attention of drives and scare away some wildlife, so keep one in your emergency stash.
11. Emergency blankets
In case you need to sleep in your car overnight, emergency blankets can be real life savers. Most emergency blankets are designed to trap your body heat in and use it to warm you during the night.
12. A first aid kit
Whether you were in a crash or were attacked by a wild squirrel (should've brought that whistle!), you're likely going to need that first aid kit. Keep this nearby and you'll be able to treat any minor injuries you get.
13. A pocket knife
If the whistle doesn't work, a pocket knife can be used to protect you in bad situations.
Prescription and non-prescription medications can be vital in these situations. If you're ill, unable to think clearly, or depressed, you'll be unable to escape as quickly. If possible, store a week's worth of medications in your first aid kit.
16. Battery powered radios
Keep up to date, aware of the situations around you, and know when truckers may be passing your area. At the very least, it'll keep you awake.
17. An external battery
External batteries can help jump start your car. You don't even need another car!
19. Seat belt cutters
Keep this near you at all times! If your seat belt ever locks and you're unable to escape, seat belt cutters will come in handy.
20. A FireCord
FireCords are flammable cords of fabric-like material that you can use to start a fire. Nifty, right?
21. A collapsible shovel
When you need more than just kitty litter, grab a collapsible shovel. Miniature shovels tend to break more easily, so invest those extra dollars.
22. A tool kit
Doubling as weapons, a tool kit is vital to aspiring mechanics. At the very least, you can make quick repairs.
23. Duct tape
Have you ever heard the rumor that duct tape can solve anything? Well, that's almost true. At the very least, you can use it for makeshift repairs until you get to the next town.
24. Warm clothes
If worst comes to worst, you can huddle up in your three layers of shirts and wrap yourself in your emergency blanket. Additionally, if you opt to search for help on foot, these extra layers can mean the difference between life and death.
25. Maps (yes, the paper kind)
If you're out of service or your phone is dead, a paper map can help direct you to safety before your car runs out of gas.
A state ID or passport can help both identify you in a life threatening situation and get you home more quickly. If the police come and for some reason you don't have your license, it can prove who you are and lend more credibility to your claims.
28. Hygiene products
Who cares about surviving when you come out with toxic shock syndrome? Packing hygiene products such as tampons, baby wipes, and paper towels can help you avoid getting sick.
Walking in heels or sneakers could prove uncomfortable or even dangerous in the winter. Store a pair of water-resistant boots with good treads in your emergency kit to protect your feet from frostbite and make it easier to walk through high snow banks.
30. A travel kit or tub
Put this bag or tub in your back seat! Fill it with your emergency kit and viola! Instant safety kit for winter emergencies.