Everyone mom needs an emergency kit and here’s why. You’re probably all set for emergencies that happen on the road that involve a flat tire or mechanical breakdown or you are relying on that good ole roadside service to back you up (because that is always my plan). I’ll bet your trunk has a jack, a spare tire, and possibly even a set of jumper cables (well, actually I have no clue if I have these things in my car, eek).
If you are like me, you know a flat tire is the least of your worries when there are kids on board. I was traveling home from Austin really late one night with my sister and our six kids and we had a tire blow in a scary way. We sat on the side of the road for a good hour. Did we have an emergency kit? Absolutely NOT. That was a huge lesson learned. I don’t know about you but listening to six children complain for what seems like all of eternity for a million different reasons was enough to send me over the edge. I needed a mom timeout after that trip. That’s why every mom should prepare for all sorts of potential problems with their own version of a car emergency kit. Because stuff happens.
Whether your son spills chocolate milk all over himself, or your daughter is having a complete meltdown because she wants a snack, or you wind up on the side of the road in the heat of summer or dead of winter, preparation is your best friend.
The tips I’m going to share with you will help you manage just about any trouble that might come up while you’re on the road.
You’ll need two containers in your car.
Front Seat Container
Everything listed should fit in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Because the bag is flexible, you can keep it under your passenger seat, or in the console or glove compartment.
- Antibacterial wipes. There will always be sticky fingers and dirty faces.
- Non-perishable snacks. Stay away from anything that is heat sensitive. Even if it won’t spoil, you don’t want snacks that could have a different consistency when the packaging gets hot. Granola bars and fruit snacks aren’t great ideas, but individual packages of graham cracker snacks, or cheese crackers would be perfect.
- Trash bag. This is a fantastic use for all those Target shopping bags you’ve been saving. Fold up a few to collect the wrappers and used wipes so you can throw them out at your next destination. Put two together when someone gets a sick tummy.
- Individual tissue pack. You can buy the little packs anywhere, or you can pack your own in a Ziploc.
- Small toys. Don’t go overboard here. Depending upon age, just keep a fidget spinner or a travel sized magnet doodle board, or a small book.
- Travel Size Disinfectant Spray. When someone gets sick, or there is a poopy diaper situation, you’ll be so thankful for this.
Trunk or Rear Storage Container
This is your catch all for every scenario you can dream up, so it needs to be big enough to hold it all. To make sure it’s organized and everything is easy to find, utilize Ziploc bags for sorting.
A trunk organizer is well worth the $20 (or less) investment.
Note: While some people keep bottled water in their cars, there have been recent studies which claim it may not be safe to drink. I’ll leave it up to you to do your own research and decide what’s best for your family.
- Toilet paper. You never know when you’ll need it.
- Baby wipes. Even if you don’t have a baby, these are a lifesaver in so many situations.
- Paper towels. One roll should do it.
- Change of clothes. Change these out according to season, and bigger sizes. Keep it simple. Sweatpants or shorts, and comfy shirts. Don’t forget extra underwear and socks! Pack each person’s things in a labeled Ziploc.
- Diapers. Parents of babies always need more than they think they will!
- A couple blankets. In summer you’ll only need two small, lightweight blankets. You can pick up small, thin blankets for less than $20, but usually much cheaper. In colder weather move to at least one thick blanket, more if you have the room.
- Empty Ziplocs. These come in handy for so many reasons.
- Empty travel cups. BPA free water bottles are great to have. You can fill them up when you stop for gas or to use the restroom.
- Tylenol or Ibuprofen. For both adults and children.
- First Aid Kit. Bandages, alcohol wipes, etc.