Are You Ready? road sign

Here in Southern California, around the U.S. and abroad, fires ignited, waters rose, winds grew strong and the ground shook.

The recent sequence of back-to-back natural disasters like Texas' Hurricane Harvey and the Mexico City earthquake are violently direct reminders that emergency situations can arise at any time — including during your commute.

It's critical to be ready for anything at any time. At UCLA Transportation, safety is a top priority. This is why all UCLA vanpools come equipped with a first aid kit and fire extinguisher.

With October being National Preparedness Month, we've made a list of roadside emergency essentials to keep Bruin commuters safe.

1. First aid You can assemble a homemade kit or pick up a prepackaged version. For a comprehensive list of supplies see the Red Cross recommendations. Also consider getting first aid and CPR training. Having that knowledge could save a life.

  • Gauze bandages and smaller adhesive bandages
  • Hand sanitizerFirst aid kit
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Pain relievers
  • Cotton balls
  • Scissor, tweezer and safety pins
  • CPR mask
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Eyewash cup
  • Burn ointment
  • Sunscreen Gauze/absorbent pads
  • Cloth tape

2. Car toolkit

  • Equipment to change a flat tire
  • Jumper cables
  • Portable jump starter
  • Foam tire sealant
  • Work gloves

3. Cleanup supplies:  These are crucial car safety items that will can come in handy during any of your travels.

  • Microfiber towels or rags and multipurpose hand cleaner Multipurpose tool

4. Survival supplies

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Headlamp
  • Duct tape
  • Traditional flares, reflective triangles or battery-powered emergency beacon
  • Purified drinking water, a water carrier and water purification tablets
  • High calorie energy or protein bars or other non-perishable snacks
  • Emergency poncho
  • Wool or emergency (space) blankets
  • Flashlight, glow sticks, matches and emergency candles
  • Solar- and hand-crank-powered light/radio/cellphone charger
  • Extra batteries

The best space to store your emergency kit is in the trunk. Use a clear plastic container with a secure lid, arrange items in a tidy manner so they are easy to see and grab, tape an itemized list to the outside of the kit and be sure to replace anything that gets used up or expires.

You can also put everything in a duffel bag or backpack, which may fit easier and be more convenient should you need to leave the car. Pick one with lots of compartments.

A good commuter is a prepared commuter. Recent AAA research found that four in 10 Americans do not carry an emergency kit in their car.

In addition to your car safety items remember these automobile basics: Have a car cellphone charger, tuck some cash safely away in your vehicle, keep the gas tank and other fluids full (oil, antifreeze and transmission) and make sure the tires are in good shape.

What if instead of being in the driver's seat, you're a passenger riding public transportation when disaster strikes? Follow Metro's steps for what to do if you're on the bus or train or at a station during an earthquake.