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Safe Kansas travel starts with preventive maintenance and good car care at Yost Auto Service. But there are other things Wichita drivers can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here’s some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else’s.

First, Wichita car owners should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their car. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road.

Some key items you should carry in your minivan include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats.

But taking care of your minivan is only part of emergency preparedness. It is vital to take care of the people in the car, too. For this reason, you should carry a first aid kit, drinkable water and blankets. Other items to consider include high-calorie food items (like energy bars), toilet paper, a towel, a hat and boots. And, of course, when you travel in Kansas and out-of-state you should always have your cell phone, some emergency cash and a credit card.

Depending on where you live, you may need to add other vital items to this list. For example, sunscreen, sunglasses, and extra water would be good to have on hand in a hot climate. For the cold and snowy Kansas season, some salt, a hand shovel, emergency blankets and matches might be in order. Also, if your Kansas area is prone to severe weather or earthquakes, you should check with your local Red Cross or disaster preparedness office for their recommendations on what to keep on hand in your minivan for emergencies.

When you travel away from your Wichita home, you should check the weather forecasts before you leave, and pack appropriate emergency supplies. Also, do some research about the areas you will be traveling through so you can be prepared for the climate and terrain. Remember the basics: heat, water, shelter, light, and food.

When you travel, it is vital to leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Check in periodically at prearranged checkpoints. That way, if something does happen, someone else will quickly know you are in trouble and will be able to send help. These checkpoints will also help rescuers find you quickly, as they will have a better idea as to where you are.

The automotive professionals at Yost Auto Service want Wichita auto owners to be safe
. Preventive maintenance, proper planning, smart communication: these are the basics of safe travel.