Be prepared for any car emergency with your own car emergency kit.
Whether you’re just commuting to and from work, or going for a cross-country road trip, there is always the possibility of car trouble. A flat tire, dead battery, overheated engine, whatever the case: your car emergency kit should always be equipped with these essential items.
1. Cell phone and charger
If you’re stranded with your car in the middle of nowhere, a cell phone is going to be the number one item you need. Of course, the cell phone won’t be much help if the battery is nearly or completely dead. We suggest keeping a spare cell phone charger in your car emergency kit at all times. The best option is an emergency charger, which can be used without the power of your car.
2. A prepared emergency kit
Basic car emergency kits can be bought already put together. Many of these kits comes with a first aid kit, LED flashlight (with batteries), tire sealant, a poncho or blanket, tools such as a screwdriver or pliers, and jumper cables. They’re affordable, and can be kept in a compact case for easy car storage.
3. Road triangles
When your car breaks down, the last thing you need is for oncoming traffic to not see you. Using a reflective emergency warning triangle to warn other drivers is important when you’re working on your car–or when waiting for a tow-truck. Place the warning triangle on the same side of the road, about 150 feet behind your vehicle. Make sure to put the triangle on the side of the road or shoulder, not in the way of traffic.
4. Water and non-perishable food
Car emergencies can leave you stranded for a long period of time. Having a supply of drinking water to stay hydrated is important. Granola and protein bars can provide energy if you are stuck with your car for a while. Jerky will keep for a very long time. Having an emergency food supply is especially important on longer trips where you may be stranded in desolate areas.
5. Fire extinguisher
It may seem dramatic to have a fire extinguisher in your car emergency kit at all times, but a car fire can start from a simple short-circuit or an oil leakage. A fire extinguisher can be used to put out a small fire, preventing more damage to your vehicle. Always use caution in a vehicular fire; get away from the fire as soon as possible before attempting to put it out with an extinguisher.
6. Gloves and rags
Working on your vehicle can be a dirty job, so you will definitely want rags and gloves in case of an emergency. Latex or disposable gloves are cost-effective options for a car emergency kit. Paper or cotton shop towels also come in handy.
7. Duct tape
Duct tape can be used for a variety of things, especially in a car emergency. If your first aid kit runs out of band-aids, use duct tape. Duct tape can also be used to hold together a broken head light or tail light, or a leaking hose.
8. Jumper Cables and a Battery Jump Starter
This will allow you to help yourself and others who are stranded with a dead battery.