As we ease on out of summer, and into the fall, not only do we send our kids back to school, we just might be sending them on road trips to attend college or other events. Also, Holiday travel is coming up, with Thanksgiving and Christmas, and these festivities usually require spending some time in the car. And, if you’re wanting to go up the Poudre Canyon or other mountain area to watch the Aspens change color, or take in other high country events, again, you will probably be driving. Fall road trips and outdoor activities are abundant here in Colorado, and we all enjoy the opportunities to take in same recreational activities before the snow flies or enjoy a family road trip.

As we spend more time in our cars, and are taking longer trips, we need a car emergency kit to prepare for a mechanical failure, or even a natural one. In Colorado, we are prone to all kinds of weather events that can leave us stranded, including flash floods, mudslides, electrical storms, and even damage to our cars from wildlife.

Think about what you would need for 24 hours if you were stranded in your car. If you’re up in the mountains, those needs would certainly include food provisions and warm outer clothing. For highway road trips, some of the articles you would want to pack for the mountains might not serve as much of a purpose.

When it comes to Fort Collins auto repair, we want to fix whatever is wrong with your car, and get you back on the road. We don’t want you to be injured or uncomfortable if you’re stranded while you are waiting for that repair.  The Red Cross has compiled a list of items they recommend be included in an emergency car kit. You can visit  their website to get more detailed guidelines. Other sites also have recommended emergency kit lists, so we’re going to compile these together, to what is most appropriate for Colorado drivers. You probably won’t get hit with a hurricane in Fort Collins, but a flash flood is always a possibility.

  • Food and water capable of sustaining each individual in the car for around 24 hours, this is more crucial for driving in remote areas. If you’re traveling on roads and highways, a 12 hour supply of Food and Water is probably more appropriate. If your pets are accompanying you on your trip, pack food and water supplies for them as well.
  • Flashlight or Hurricane lamp, and extra batteries.
  • Extra batteries for all electrical devices, especially your cell phone. You may find yourself in a position where your life depends on that phone, and if you are not able to charge it, an extra pre-charged battery or two will be one of the smartest items to keep in an emergency car kit.
  • First aid kit. These can be purchased just about anywhere. If you want to put one together yourself, these are good base items to include in your first aid kit:
    • Any vital medication or medication devices
    • Absorbent compress dressings
    • Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
    • Adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
    • Antibiotic ointment packets  and antiseptic wipe packets
    • A space blanket
    • An instant cold compress
    • Non Latex gloves
    • Hydrocortisone ointment packets
    • Scissors and tweezers
    • An assortment of roller bandages and gauze pads.
    • Triangular bandages
    • First aid instruction booklet

Additional items that can be added to your emergency car kit dependent on need can include:

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items, like toilet paper
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • A map of the area you will be traveling in

For auto repair emergencies, these are all very useful items to include in your emergency repair kit, again, dependent on where you will be traveling:

  • Jumper cables (8-12 feet long)
  • Set of tire chains.These are pretty necessary in Colorado.If you don’t know how to put them on your tires, ask your auto technician or repair shop to show you how.
  • Fuses. There are several different kinds, so make sure you have the right ones for your car.
  • Tools: pliers, flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers, and an adjustable wrench. Even an all in one tool is good to have in your kit. A folding camping (Army) shovel.
  • All of the necessary fluids for your car, including 2 quarts of motor oil, brake fluid, power-steering fluid , automatic transmission fluid, a gallon of water, and a gallon of antifreeze. Throw in a funnel and a few rags handy in case of spills.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road flares
  • Electrical and duct tape
  • WD-40
  • Bright cloth or emergency road sign to display in your window in case of trouble.

Keeping an emergency roadside kit in your car will prepare you in the event of mechanical breakdown or any natural event which leaves you stranded. Adjust contents not only for travel planes, but for the seasons. At Fort Collins foreign Car Repair, we want you to remain safe and comfortable, no matter what situation you may find yourself in on a car trip.