Even though you take good care of your car, you never know when an emergency will arise. Stocking your car with a roadside emergency kit will may help you get back on the road more quickly if you have a breakdown. At the very least, you’ll be safer and more comfortable while you wait for help.
You can buy pre-made roadside emergency kits, but when you make your own, you know exactly what’s in it, and you can tailor it to the needs of your local climate. (In Florida, we don’t need kitty litter for icy roads, for example!) In addition to the supplies needed to change a tire, here are some basics your kit should contain:
- First Aid supplies: antiseptic, Band Aids, hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, insect repellent, tweezers, Ace bandage, instant cold compress, etc.
- Road flares or reflective triangles
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher intended for automotive use. Use to fight a small fire, but if your car is on fire, don’t try to put it out yourself. Move to safety and wait for emergency help.
- Rain poncho
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Duct tape
- Baby wipes
- Rags or paper towels
- Drinking water and non-perishable snacks
- Multi-purpose tool
- Can of tire inflator, such as Fix-a-Flat
You may also want to add a car cell phone charger, and pen and paper to your kit. If you drive an older vehicle, include oil, anti-freeze, and brake fluid.
Store your kit in a plastic container with a lid, a cardboard box, or other storage item and keep it in your trunk. Arrange everything neatly, preferably in a single layer so you can see what you have and get to it quickly. Also, do an inventory every few months, making sure to replace anything you use up or that expires.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to create a roadside emergency kit. Stock your vehicle with one, and you’ll be prepared if you’re ever stuck by the side of the road.