Most people don’t expect something to go wrong until it does. This is why oftentimes, most of us are ill-prepared. When we find ourselves in an emergency, it can be overwhelming and scary. Knowing what to do and staying calm are the most important things to remember, especially when you’re on the road.
In the event that something happens, being prepared can make all the difference. Consider these 15 items to include in your roadside emergency kit:
1. Phone Charger and Portable Power Device
It may seem like overkill, but you can never be too prepared in case of emergency. There is nothing worse than seeing your phone at 10% with no charger, especially if you find yourself on the side of the highway.
Many stores sell inexpensive phone chargers for both iPhone and Android as well as portable power banks. Purchase a spare set to keep in your car for the times when you forget your “at-home” charger. The power bank will come in handy if your USB port or charging cord fails, so be sure to keep it charged as well.
2. Flat Tire Inflation Can
Vehicles come with a spare tire, but what if you have more than one tire blow out? Luckily there are products like Fix-A-Flat which temporarily fix your tire. This comes in handy and allows you to get yourself and your vehicle to a safe location until you can have the tire fixed or replaced. Additionally, there are portable air inflation devices that can help for tires that just need to be re-inflated.
3. Food and Water
Because we don’t plan for emergencies to happen, there’s no way to know how long you may be stranded. Keep bottled water and a few snacks, such as trail mix or protein bars, in the trunk of your car or wherever you plan to store your vehicle “emergency kit.”
4. Tire Changing Kit
Your vehicle should come with a spare tire but it may not have everything you need to change it. Purchase a tire iron that is compatible with your tire’s lug nuts as well as a jack. This will ensure you get back on the road quickly in case you don’t have roadside assistance, such as AAA. *Pro Tip: Check your spare tire often. Because they are stored for long periods of time, spares tend to lose air and can be underinflated.*
5. Blankets or Sleeping Bag
We don’t often consider sleeping in our car but it can happen. If you are stranded, staying warm during the cold months is necessary. Be sure to keep extra blankets for passengers that may be unfortunately stranded with you.
Unfortunately, many emergencies happen at night. Trying to change a tire or deal with some other emergency in the dark is both inconvenient and dangerous. Keep a small flashlight with backup batteries on hand.
7. First Aid Kit
Keeping a stocked first aid kit in your car can be a lifesaver. The kit should include backup medications you/your passengers need, over-the-counter pain medication, and bandages and antiseptic.
8. Tool Kit
You don’t need a large toolbox, but keeping a tool kit with basic tools is recommended. Add different sized wrenches, screwdrivers, and extra light bulbs for your headlights/tail lights.
Although you may not use it for many repairs on your car, or for cutting through items, it’s important to have. It offers protection depending on where you are stranded. It may only offer peace of mind but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Adding several flares to your emergency kit is helpful. This will allow other drivers to see you on a dark road. Store them safely according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
11. Extra Clothes
Similarly to the blankets and sleeping bags, extra clothing should be in the vehicle. Don’t bring a whole wardrobe, but consider keeping a set of clothing for warm and cold weather. Also include a jacket.
An emergency source of light and a means for starting a fire, keeping a lighter or matches in the emergency kit is necessary.
13. Emergency Signals
Alerting other drivers that you are on the side of the road is essential to your safety and theirs. Keep emergency signals, such as reflective emergency triangles, in your kit. This is an effective and simple way to offer other drivers a warning that you are there.
14. Jumper Cables
Whether your battery is dead or you come across someone else with a dead battery, you’ll need jumper cables.
15. Tire Gauge
It’s important to check your tires, even outside of an emergency. A tire gauge is more of a preventative item but is just as important.
What items do you have in your vehicle’s emergency kit? If you don’t have one, consider these 15 items for your vehicle emergency kit and get started on your preparedness.