What you need in your 72-hour car emergency kit

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - Heavy snow, dense fog, out of gas, car trouble -- getting stranded in your car is something that could blindside you at any time. You can't predict when it's going to happen, but you need to be able to forecast how you're going to react.

Survivalist Eric Boettcher says it is vital to always be prepared. Knowledge is power when you're stranded. Boettcher actually wrote a book to remind himself and others how to proceed when faced with the unknown, and he stresses that it doesn't have to be tough. 

“You're going to panic if you don't know what to do,” says Boettcher “...What people need to be able to do is focus on what do you need everyday.”

An emergency can get overwhelming, so if you're stranded, you want to remember three things: food, water, and warmth. It is very simple to utilize all the spots in your car with some emergency equipment. For example: the center console can store a lighter and flashlight. Your first aid kit can fit perfectly in the door. The glove box can be used to house your emergency manual, and a solar lens to help you start a fire. 

Another way to start a fire is by using jumper cables, which should be kept in your 72 hour kit. This kit should never leave your vehicle. There should also be gloves, hats, and an emergency blanket. For each person in the vehicle, there should also be a gallon of water. It's important to make sure everyone feels comfortable, because at the end of the day, you don't know how long it's going to take before help shows up.

Some other tips: Prepare for your electronics to die. That cell phone may last a few hours---but you should have alternative way to charge it. It's important to know how to start a fire, as it can aid with warmth, and help you cook and boil water. Communication is also critical.

“If you're heading somewhere and it takes a quarter of a tank to get there, fill it full,” says Boettcher. 

And one of Boettcher’s most important tips, “Let somebody know where you’re going.”

Boettcher also had these survival tips: 
     -Don't leave your car unless absolutely necessary--you can keep your car up to 20 degrees warmer by keeping those doors closed
     -Don't rely on your electronics, carry a paper map as backup
     -Groups of three stacked items are generally recognized as SOS signals
     -Always, always have your emergency kit stocked

“It doesn't take up much room, but it does take some forethought,” says Boettcher

That forethought could end up saving your life. 

Here’s what experts say every person should have in their 72 hour emergency car kit:
-One gallon of water per person, per day & non-perishable food
-Lighter & matches
-Backup chargers and batteries
-Gloves, Hats, etc.
-Emergency blanket
-First Aid kit
-Extra medications
-Duct tape 
-Hand powered radio
-Extra pet food, if applicable
-Jumper cables
-Hand warmers 

For a detailed document from Be Ready Utah, click here

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