Now that 2024 is upon us, there may have been a few New Year’s Resolutions that you have made. Well, let me add one resolution to that list that you probably did not make. In 2024, add these essential items to your RV to help keep you and your loved ones safe and secure. In fact, these items are also good to add to personal vehicles and in your home as well. So, what could these items be, you might ask. Listed below are essential items that you need to keep in your RV if you don’t already have them.
You may be thinking to yourself, “What in the world is an IFAK?” IFAK stands for individual first-aid kit. The next thing you may be thinking is, “We already have a first aid kit in our RV.” If this is the case, then odds are the first-aid kit that you are referring to is not equipped to handle a medical emergency. Instead, most “typical” first-aid kits are boo-boo kits that are made to handle a scraped knee, a minor burn, or a sprained ankle, etc. An IFAK is also referred to as a trauma kit. The contents of an IFAK, or trauma kits, are for medical emergencies when lifesaving measures must be taken. While it’s not fun to think about these types of emergencies happening, the fact is that they do happen, and having the necessary equipment available is critical if such an incident should take place.
The contents of your IFAK may vary, but the items listed below are the essentials that every IFAK should contain:
- Pressure dressing
- QuikClot or some type of hemostatic agent
- CPR mask
- Trauma shears
- Vented chest seal
While these are essential to have in case there is a medical emergency, they are useless without the proper knowledge of how to use them. Take the time to invest in a little bit of training to educate yourself on how to use these items.
Pepper spray is one of our favorite items for self-defense. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and legal in most places (check state and local laws for your area). Pepper spray is extremely effective and has no lasting effects. It comes in many different sizes, from ½-ounce key chain pepper spray to larger canisters such as bear spray. While pepper spray is very painful and disorienting, its effects wear off after approximately 45 minutes. It is effective against the threat that you are most likely to face at some point while traveling, the loose aggressive dog! The overwhelming majority of the time, you will travel in your RV and have a great time with your loved ones. However, in the unlikely event that you do encounter an aggressive dog or would-be attacker, you will be happy that you have pepper spray on hand.
Roadside Safety Kit
When traveling, you eventually will encounter some type of road trouble. This could be a flat tire, engine trouble, or a minor traffic accident. Knowing this allows you to prepare for and mitigate the effects of such an incident. Having a roadside safety kit is essential to ensuring that something as minor as a flat tire does not devolve into a more serious situation, especially at night. In addition, having a glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, and fire extinguisher is also very important. Remember, these tools are not just for use in emergency situations you personally may be involved in while traveling. If you come upon a traffic accident before the first responders have arrived, the glass breaker and seatbelt cutter could also be used to help someone else. Now, let’s dive into what you should include in your roadside safety kit:
- High-visibility vest
- Road flares or electronic road flares
- Flashlight with strobe capability
- Glass breaker
- Seatbelt cutter
- Fire extinguisher
Being broken down on the shoulder of a busy highway is potentially just as dangerous as having a blowout on the same busy highway. Having road flares, a high-visibility vest, and a good flashlight (with strobe capability) will help ensure that you are visible to passing motorists. While fire extinguishers are common in RVs, having an additional portable fire extinguisher in your roadside safety kit ensures that if you have to use it to assist someone else, then you will still have your primary fire extinguisher in your RV.
As you get out and enjoy traveling in your RV, remember that being prepared for emergencies should allow you to enjoy your time in your RV even more. When I travel, I am not constantly thinking about what could happen or what could go wrong. I realize there is a very small chance that any type of emergency will happen. However, I have greater peace of mind knowing that I have taken precautions in case some emergency should happen. So, invest some time in a little bit of planning for things that may happen, and ensure that you have the right tools and items to handle such situations. Then get out and enjoy your time in your RV with your loved ones, armed with the knowledge that in the unlikely event an emergency event happens, you are prepared.
John Hill is a current police officer with over 20 years of experience. He is also the co-owner of Shield Protection Products.