Unfortunately, many people don’t think about having a car emergency kit until it’s too late. While many of us are lulled into a false sense of security thanks to cell phones and car clubs, the truth of the matter is a roadside emergency can happen at anytime and anyplace. And unfortunately, where you break down may not always be in a safe location with cell phone service and a tow truck minutes away. Being prepared with an car emergency kit can make all the difference. Below is a list of 20 must-have items for your car emergency kit.
1. Charged Cell Phone
Although you should never operate a cell phone while driving, having one in the car is one of the most important items you can have in your car emergency kit. Most likely you already carry one on your person, but it doesn’t hurt to consider getting either an Emergency Cell phone which is made specifically for use in emergencies, or buying an extra, basic model cell phone.
Also, be sure your regular cell phone is always fully charged before you even get in the car. Keeping a spare charger in your car at all times is advisable as well.
2. First Aid Kit
There are all types of pre-made first aid kits which you can buy, but you can actually save some money by putting together one of your own. In addition to the basics such as band aids and antiseptic wipes, a first aid kit for the car should also include adhesive tape, gauze pads, aspirin, antiseptic cream or ointment, a small pair of scissors, and anything specific to you or your family.
If you include specific medications make sure they are not temperature – sensitive. If you opt to buy a premade kit, make sure you are familiar with everything that is in it. Also, make a habit of checking the expiration dates on the aspirin and antibiotic creams and antiseptics every other month or so.
3. Bottled Water and Non-Perishable Snacks
Be sure to keep several bottles of water and snacks. Energy bars, nuts, dried fruit, hard candy and crackers all work well. If you know you are going on a long road trip, make sure you pack enough for you and each passenger. Also, be sure to check the expiration dates on the food regularly.
4. Flashlight and Extra Batteries
Choose a flashlight that is bright and weatherproof. Also, keep extra batteries and a spare bulb available.
5. A Multi-Tool
One of those small Swiss Army Knives with several different tools or a Leatherman Tool will work perfectly.
6. Warm Blankets and/or Extra Clothes
This is especially important when traveling during the cold, winter months.
7. Matches or Some Other Type of Fire Starter
Again, important in case you are stranded during winter.
8. Towel, Rags or Paper Towels
For cleaning up in an emergency.
9. Warning Lights, Hazard Triangles, or Flares
If your vehicle breaks down or is stuck on the side of the road, it’s important that you give other drivers as much warning of its presence as possible, especially at night. Reflective hazard triangles and flares are quite effective and don’t require batteries. It is best to have at least 3 reflective triangles or lights so you can set each one about 50 feet apart to warn oncoming traffic. You could also look for a battery-powered warning light.
10. Fire Extinguisher
When selecting a fire extinguisher, make sure it is rated for both Class B and Class C fires by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve electrical equipment such as switches, panel boxes and batteries.
While we cannot stop emergencies from happening, there are things we can do to increase the chances of us making it through it, inclusing keepiong a car emergency kit.
There are also things we can do to lower the chances of a roadside emergency from happening. In fact, one of the best ways to prevent a roadside emergency is by taking care of your vehicle. The best way to do that is to keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle. Find a trusted and experienced mechanic shop or the service center at a dealership such as Star Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, RAM to help ensure your car is in top running order.