An integral part of your total safety plan should include being prepared if your car breaks down or weather leaves you stranded. You may be the best driver in the world, but situations out of your control can leave your personal safety compromised. Or at the very least, highly inconvenienced. In the prepper world, they often call this a “bug out bag”. This name conjures up images of an apocalypse and having to walk 500 miles home. Let’s not be soooooo dramatic.
For all practical purposes, your emergency auto safety pack should contain these essential elements to keep you safe and comfortable during a roadside emergency for 48 hours. Here are the 10 D.I.V.A.S. (Decisive Items Vital to Auto Safety) you need to put in your car today.
Did you know that your body can only go 3 days without water? It’s true and it’s the reason why keeping a few SEALED bottles of water in your car is so important. To ensure that your water isn’t contaminated, store only manufacturer sealed bottles of water in your car for longer than 24 hours. Using a refillable water bottle opens up the possibility of micro-organisms multiplying in the bottles when left in your car for an extended period of time. Additionally, you should replace the bottled water in your auto safety kit every 6 months.
Protein bars are the perfect emergency food to store in your car safety kit. They have a very long shelf-life and contain a high level of protein for your body’s nourishment if you are stranded for an extended period of time. Look for a protein bar that has at least 10 grams of protein per bar.
Throw an old blanket or even a few heavy towels into the trunk of your car to use for staying warm if you get stranded during bad weather or on a cold night. Towels and blankets can also be used to aid in a roadside medical emergency. Wrapping someone in shock with a blanket to keep them warm or using a towel as a tourniquet to stop excessive bleeding can provide emergency treatment until an ambulance service arrives to take over care.
⭐Flashlight and Extra Batteries⭐
Keeping a flashlight in your car for emergencies seems like a no brainer. But how many of us actually have one in our car? A flashlight can be used for everything from looking under the hood to signaling for assistance to other drivers in an emergency. If you don’t have a self-defense weapon with you, it can even be used to defend yourself if that’s all you have available at the time. And don’t forget the extra batteries! Batteries tend to deteriorate in strength and even erode over time so keeping a spare stash with your auto emergency stash is equally important as having the flashlight itself.
Being stranded on the roadside leaves you particularly vulnerable to opportunistic predators. As we learned in our article “Victim Selection Through the Eyes of a Rapist”, these attackers are usually calculating as they look for easy targets. Keep your doors locked at all times and make sure that you have a self-defense weapon with you. You may have to leave your car and walk out of the roadside emergency. You will want to carry a form of self-defense on that journey home.
⭐Portable Electronics Charging Bank⭐
Having your life line (aka cell phone) at full charge is extremely important in an emergency. Carrying a portable charging bank ensures that you will have an emergency charge for your phone in a crisis. You may need to call 911 or you may just need to stay in touch with family and friends for moral support while you wait out the storm. Either way, don’t get stranded without a back-up charger for your cell phone.
The 3-N-1 gets it done with three of the vital items for your auto safety kit in one product. The 3-N-1 is an innovative safety device that includes a powerful self-defense stun gun, a power bank battery back up charger for your cell phone and a flashlight. The bonus is that if you need to abandon your vehicle, it’s easy to carry all three of these items with you when they are combined into one amazing safety device.
⭐Weatherproof Comfortable Footwear⭐
In the event that you have to abandon your car on the roadside and walk out of an emergency, you need to have waterproof and comfortable shoes to wear. Personally speaking, when the Snowpocalypse shut down Atlanta I had an auto emergency backpack in my car with water, protein bars and all the essentials to stay put…except I didn’t have boots! I was only a mile from the house and didn’t want to wait overnight in my car. I walked home, through the snow, in the high heels I had worn to work that day. Needless to say, an old pair of hiking boots went into my trunk the very next day!
⭐Glass Break Tool⭐
God forbid you are in an accident where your car goes underwater or you need to break the window to exit fast. An average car will completely submerge in less than 5 minutes. Every second counts. Unless you had the foresight to roll your windows down before the water reaches that level, you will not be able to open your car door because of the pressure exerted by the water on the outside. Panic sets in during this kind of emergency and our first instinct is to keep the water out. Don’t count on having the reaction speed to remember to open your windows in this type of scenario. Always keep a glass break tool in the glove compartment of your car. The bonus to this emergency item is that the sharp point on a glass break tool can also double as a self-defense weapon in a pinch.
Defense Divas® offers a self-defense keychain that is a glass break tool on one end and a powerful pepper spray on the other. The Harm & Hammer pepper spray feature provides up to 16 feet of defense distance to stop your attacker long before he gets his hands on you. A swift removal of the cap on the other end reveals an emergency glass shatter tool.
⭐Medications & First Aid Kit⭐
Don’t forget to include any prescription medications that you take on a daily basis in your auto safety gear. Depending on the severity of your medical condition, it may be vital to take these if you are stranded for 24 hours or more. It’s very important that you keep them in the original prescription bottles with the pharmacy labels in tact for legal reasons. If you are pulled over by the police for a simple traffic violation, any prescriptions that are not in their pharmacy labelled bottles could land you in jail. The police don’t know what those little pink pills are when they find them in your car and even though it may all be sorted out later, it’s an easy scenario to avoid all together with an ounce of prevention.
Investing in a basic first aid kit to keep in your vehicle is an inexpensive way to be prepared for an impromptu roadside medical emergency. Just the basics. It’s important to remember that you may need to carry these things with you if you have to abandon your car.
Yes, you read that right. Keep cash in your car. Not hundreds of dollars, but enough to get you out of a crunch if you’re in one and be able to purchase things if ATM machines are down or power is out at the gas station where you are stranded. A good way to keep cash in your car and not be the victim of theft is to store it in a diversion safe. A diversion safe is simply an everyday product that would appear normal where it is located, but has a hidden compartment inside to store valuables. Great diversion safes for your auto safety kit would be a diversion safe hairbrush or a Dasani water bottle diversion safe. Both of these items appear completely normal in anyone’s car and a thief would not bother to steal them.
⭐Go Girl! Go!⭐
Once you’ve got all your auto safety gear together, keep it together. You don’t have to buy a fancy (and expensive) military tactical backpack. You can even visit your local thrift shop and pick up a cheap backpack. The important takeaway is that you want to have it in a ready-to-go and easy-to-carry bundle. Tie the shoestrings of your emergency footwear to the strap and fill the inside with your food, water and other safety gear. If you need to abandon your car, you’ll be grateful that you can take these emergency supplies with you on your exodus.
I have also found that having all of my items in one backpack makes it easier to move around in my car when I’m loading groceries, etc. I am less likely to take it out of my car and not return it, when it’s easy to move around in my car.
⭐⭐⭐Your Action Plan⭐⭐⭐
As you can see, most of these 10 important auto safety items can probably be found in your home right now. The challenge is dedicating an hour to gather them all together and put them in your car. Taking the time to do so will keep you safe, prepared and comfortable when an auto emergency situation strikes.
Defense Divas® challenges you to put together your D.I.V.A.S. kit today!
- 1)Take a picture of your D.I.V.A.S. auto safety kit
- 2)Tag us (@defensedivas) on social media
- 3)Email your pic to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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