Ten Must-haves for an Emergency Kit

* I heard that it is going to be an especially cold winter this year so I thought I would revive this post. Things happen and it is a good idea to be prepared.

We all know the importance of having an emergency kit; but, how many of us have actually taken the time to put one together? Ideally, we should have two: one for our homes and one for our car(s). Emergencies happen when we least expect it. Or, when we are least prepared.

10 Must-haves for an Emergency Kit

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us will be traveling by car (often long distances) to our festive gatherings. Lots of accidents and break-downs happen during the holiday season, so if you don’t have an emergency kit  in your car, now many be a good time to think about getting one together.

Here’s a list of the most common (and important) things to keep in your emergency kit:

1. Water. We personally keep three cases in our car at all times, but a couple of gallons or cases of bottled water should be enough.

2. Food. Non-perishable foods, such as pretzels or granola bars, would be best; although throwing a few pieces of fruit in the car as you are leaving would be a good idea, too. 🙂

3. Blankets. If you break down and have to wait a while (or longer) for a service truck, having a few extra blankets will come in handy. 🙂

4. Medical supplies. You should have extra prescription medications, Acetaminophen, a first-aid kit and  personal medical supplies (such as diabetes equipment, etc.) as part of your emergency kit.

5. Extra clothes. Obviously, if you are traveling by car you have a suitcase (or several!) full of clothes already with you. However, It’s a good idea to keep an extra outfit for each person in the car at all times. You never know when you’ll be glad you did!

6. Flash light and extra-batteries. Enough said here; except, if you have a child like my son (who likes to take the flashlight – or anything else for that matter! – apart), you might want to keep the flashlight out of reach of your little one!

7. Road flares. They aren’t that expensive and can help prevent an accident if you breakdown at night.

8. GPS Tracking System or Maps. A lot of cell phones have built-in GPS tracking systems now-a-days, and if yours does, you are all set. If not, you may want to invest in one. Or, get a local map(s) of the areas you will be traveling in.

9. Whistle. Okay, I am be a bit paranoid; but, there are some not-so-nice people out there, so yeah, I keep a whistle with me. Yelling “help” or even “fire” might not get attention, but a whistle sure will! (My late great-Aunt once saved herself from being attached once by blowing a whistle into the ear of the attacker! I’ve never forgotten that!)

10. Extra kids stuff. Again, if you are traveling with kids you have what you need already; but, it would be good to keep an extra bag of things you need for little ones in the car at all times. And don’t forget to keep a personalized child’s traveling bag within reach, too! (We certainly want to keep our little ones happy while traveling!)

Do you have an emergency kit prepared? If so, what’s in yours?

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Here is a printable version of this list, no opt-in required: 10 Must-Haves for An Emergency Kit

Tweetable: 10 Must-Haves for an Emergency Kit

How to Put Together a Child’s Traveling Bag

Childs Traveling Bag

(This is a re-post of another very popular post that I published a couple of years ago that I have updated and added some more info.)

I am piggybacking off of yesterday’s post, thanks to Kathleen over @ So much to say, so little time, who asked me to share what kind of toys I keep in Andrew’s traveling bag.

Here’s a snap shot of the contents of the traveling bag we brought with us to North Carolina:

  • Drawing pad with crayons and “no-spill” marker paint
  • My Big Rescue Book
  • Lacing boards with string
  • His favorite (and well-worn!) Woody doll
  • Small teddy bear
  • Transformer toy
  • Toy horse
  • Prayer book
  • Rosary

We  had a separate bag just for his favorite reading books and homeschooling books. I also have a few other toys set aside that weren’t in this trip’s bag. I like to switch off with a few different toys/books, so they are “new” to him. He tends to stay more content and play longer that way!

How to put together your own traveling bag for little ones:

1. Get a cute bag or tote just for traveling. You can even design your own tote if you’re the creative type. I’m not very creative, sorry to say, so we use Andrew’s old “mass bag“. (You’ll notice that some of the contents are now included as part of Andrew’s traveling bag. 🙂 )

2. Keep the toys small. Obviously, you’re not going to want to waste precious car space with big, bulky toys, so keep the toys small enough to snuggle next to the child’s car seat or on his/her lap. The largest toy we brought was the transformer toy and it fit right between Andrew’s car seat and door.

3. Let the littles help pick out the toys. I let Andrew pick out which toys and books he wanted to bring. He was so excited to pick out his own toys and looked forward to playing with them during the car ride!

4. Switch them out. Like I mentioned above, alternating the toys periodically makes them feel like new to the children and they will most likely play with them longer.

UPDATE:

backpack

His current travel bag (he also has a Spiderman backpack he likes to use)

Now that Andrew is eight we have updated his traveling bag  and I thought I’d share some of its contents to give you ideas for your older children:

  • rosary and prayer-book
  • various books (especially audio books)
  • home-school course work
  • hand-held DSI video game (30 minute limit per day)
  • small toys (action figures, such as Transformers, Spiderman, etc.)
  • travel art supplies
  • maps and compass

One of my readers suggested in my other post on keeping kids happy when traveling that she puts on a movie in DVD player in her car. We don’t have a DVD player in our car nor do we own a portable player, but it is certainly a good idea! (Yes, I know I could use my laptop but I would be afraid he would drop it and we can’t figure a way to stabilize it without him holding it. 🙂 )

I hope that helps. Do you have a traveling bag you use with your children? What items are in yours? Do share in the comments!