Keeping your car stocked is a good idea in case you are ever in an emergency. Does your car contain items in case it breaks down? Do you have what you need in the event that you’re stranded?
Car needs vary a lot depending on where you live. Consider the weather and how busy the roads you travel on are (i.e. how long you might be stranded for) when deciding what to keep in your car. Our list covers some emergency essentials that we should all have on us.
First Aid Kit
You never know when you’re going to need one. If one of your children gets scraped up while you’re out at the park, you don’t want to wait until you get home to get a band-aid. Or, if you’re more seriously injured while out and about, a first aid kit can be a helpful tool until you can get to a doctor.
Flashlights are important for roadside safety while stranded. They help other cars to see you and pass carefully. They also help with roadside maintenance at night. Even if you know how to change a tire, it’s probably a lot harder and more frustrating if you can’t see.
It’s possible to end up stranded in a remote location, causing you to wait for a tow truck for a couple hours. If you’re stranded in the heat, water bottles will prevent dehydration and make the wait time a lot more bearable.
Roadside Repair Tools
Getting a tow truck is expensive. Luckily, most tows can be avoided if you keep some tools in the trunk.
Tire Changing Kit
Most tire changing equipment comes standard with a new vehicle, but not always with used vehicles. Make sure your trunk has a tire iron, a spare tire, a tire jack, and a lug wrench. If you can stow these away, you can swap out a blown tire without getting towed.
These are especially important on long road trips. If you’re driving outside of your hometown, you may not know when the next gas station is. Some parts of the country have no gas stations for hundreds of miles and you don’t want to end up on empty during these stretches. However, avoid carrying gas in the trunk for extended periods of time, as gas is highly flammable and will fumigate your trunk in hot temperatures.
Sometimes batteries die without any warning. Cars are especially susceptible to a dead battery in low temperatures. With jumper cables, all you need is a kind passerby to help you get jumped and you’ll be back on the road.
Car Phone Charger
Being stranded is unfortunate enough, but if you can’t call for help, it makes things much more complicated. Take a phone charger to avoid compounding issues.
Especially if you live in the north, but even if you live in the south, a blanket can come in handy if you’re ever stranded while it’s cold. If you have to wait for help for hours while it’s cold, you’ll be grateful to have a blanket to bundle up in. In particularly cold areas, this can even save your life.