Taco sauce and vomit bags…yep, I’m going to connect these…and not in the way you probably are expecting. Two things happened last week that make “your car” the answer.
The first story involved Jeremy Taylor and his dog Ally. They were stranded in the snow for 5 days and forced to survive on only the food in their car, exclusively taco sauce packets. The second story involves our morning carpool. Over the course of 2 weeks, 3 of the 5 kids got the flu…and two of them “redecorated” the inside and outside of our cars during the drive. You never know when you will have to depend on your car to provide you with the tools to deal with an emergency. As such, you need to make sure you have some basic supplies prepared and ready to go, specifically food, water, and first-aid.
Food and Water
Having a source of food and water in your vehicle is important at all times. An event like a snowstorm or an earthquake may seem unlikely, but traffic delays and unexpected events while away from home happen all the time. Your vehicle should serve as a mobile “home away from home”.
As with any preparation, think about what you will actually want to use. In our case, we keep a full box of protein bars and a case of water bottles in each car, at all times. I chose the smaller water bottles (500mL) because they are easier to portion out to passengers (as opposed to a gallon jug). Additionally, since they are easy to carry, if you need to leave your vehicle in a large emergency, you can attach a Sawyer Mini Filter to the top and continue to refill the bottle with water you find along your route.
I liked the idea of the protein bars because they are individually wrapped, full of protein for sustained energy, and small enough to fit in a pocket if need be. Picking the flavor was a fun family activity. I selected 8 different flavors and let each of our children taste test them. They each had their favorites, but since they both liked the chocolate version, that’s what we went with. The goal is to find one flavor that everyone can agree on, so you don’t have to manage multiple flavors and multiple types.
One of our children gets car sick, so luckily, as the flu worked its way through our carpool we already had vomit bags in the glove box. However, it was a good reminder that medical issues can happen anywhere and having a good First Aid kit available in your car is a necessity. I have 2 small kits in each card: one is full of medications and the second is full of other first aid supplies like bandages. I separated the kits because usually, you don’t need medication and bandages at the same time, so it’s easier to find what you really need if they are separated.
I have purchased pre-made first aid kits and built my own depending on the need. I recommend either building your own or buying a kit and adding to it. Most prebuilt first aid kids don’t include any sort of vomit bag, the value of which we were reminded of this week. Additionally, most prebuilt kits don’t include a trauma kit. I purchased prebuilt trauma kits to add to our first aid kits in case there is a severe injury from a major disaster or attack of some sort.
There are lots of ways to configure your vehicle for your own preparedness needs. I plan on doing several articles on vehicle preps in the future, especially outlining the differences between Summer and Winter preparations. In the meantime, I think it’s important to make sure everyone has food, water, and first aid available and ready to use. After all, as yummy as taco sauce is, I don’t think any of us would choose to live on it for multiple days if we had the option.