Hopefully, you’ll never have to use any of these emergency kit items. If something does go wrong, though, you (and your passengers) will be glad you thought ahead. It’s much easier to enjoy the drive when you know you are prepared to handle an emergency situation.
1. Flashlight and batteries
Even better, get a flashlight that charges with a hand crank. Then you don’t even have to worry about batteries at all.
2. First aid kit
It’s also a good idea to keep a first aid instruction manual. Familiarize yourself with it and how to use the equipment in your kit. You don’t want the first time you use it to be during a real emergency.
3. Jumper cables
- Connect the red cable to the positive post of the dead battery.
- Now, connect the positive post of the good battery.
- Next, connect the black cable to the negative post of the good battery.
- Finally, connect the other black clip to the dead battery.
4. Reflective cones/triangles
The last thing you want is for a flat tire to turn into a fender bender just because it’s dark out.
5. Fire extinguisher
Look for an ABC type extinguisher. These work with type A dry fires, type B gas and liquid fires, and type C electrical fires.
6. Tire gauge
Be sure to regularly check your spare tire as well as the ones in use, so you don’t get caught off guard when your backup fails.
7. Protective gloves
Just jacking up your car to replace a flat tire can be rough on your hands, let alone dealing with something more serious. They’ll also help keep you warm when de-icing.
8. Seatbelt cutter/window breaker
Action movies would have you believe that all you need to do is kick the window a few times to break through. Unless you’re a superhuman movie star, you’ll find one of these little tools much more effective, and not as hard on your body.
9. Physical map
Your phone or GPS system are great navigators, but you should never rely on them alone. Keep a paper map in your glovebox so you won’t be lost if the battery dies or you lose your internet connection.
For drivers in cold climates, add a window scraper and some kitty litter to the list. The stuff you put in your cat’s litter box is excellent for creating some instant traction in a slippery situation and is easier to find in stores than rock salt. Plus, salt not only erodes the roads but also ends up dissolving into local waterways and could even end up in your drinking water.
If you can spare the space, it is also a good idea for drivers anywhere to have some blankets and backup fluids (gas, oil, windshield wiper fluid, etc.).
Stay safe, everyone!