What if your phone’s battery dies or you are in a remote area with no signal? Do you have the necessities to change a tire, jumpstart your car’s battery, switch out a fuse or handle other common road mishaps?
An emergency kit can mean the difference between being stranded for a few minutes and sitting around waiting for assistance for several hours.
Here are 14 must-have items for your in-car emergency kit:
When it’s dark
Flashlight – If you need to change a tire or take a look at your engine, you’re going to need some light. Make sure you have an extra set of batteries, just in case.
Road flares – Use road flares to alert oncoming traffic that your car has stopped. Follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.
When it’s cold
Matches and/or a lighter – These come in handy if you need to start a fire to stay warm.
Mylar blanket – There are many uses for Mylar blankets. They’ll keep you warm in the cold and provide a waterproof cover to keep things dry. With the potential for wet El Niño weather, it’s not a bad idea to keep a couple of these stocked in your car kit in case flash flooding leaves you stuck in the rain.
When you need to change a tire
Tire jack and wrench – These two items will make changing a tire easier. The tire jack that comes with your vehicle is often flimsy so consider investing in a more robust one. And remember to use your vehicle’s hazard lights and pull over to a safe place when changing your tire roadside.
Spare tire – It’s hard to change a tire without a spare. Make sure you have the proper spare as supplied by your vehicle manufacturer and that it’s not flat or expired. Yes, tires expire.
Jumper cables – It’s always a good idea to keep these in your car in case the battery dies.
Oil – In case your engine needs motor oil, keep two quarts of it handy.
First aid kit – You can never go wrong with a few bandages, adhesive tape, gauze pads and aspirin. Better to have a first aid kit and not need it than to need one and not have it.
Extra fuses – Keeping a box of fuses in your kit is a smart idea. If your turn signals don’t blink or your tail lights go out, chances are, you need to change a fuse.
Nonperishable nutrition bars and water – If you’re stranded in a place without restaurants or a convenience store nearby, you may want to keep a few snacks in your kit.
No matter how reliable your car is, you never know when your emergency kit will come in handy. Keep your kit in an easy-to-reach place, and make sure your passengers know that it’s available and where it’s located.
Additionally, if you don’t want to make your kit, you can always purchase one online. Just make sure you know how to use all of the items included in your kit properly in order to avoid safety mishaps.
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