No matter what kind of car you drive, an emergency situation can occur at any minute. Emergencies can be scary, stressful, and potentially life-threatening if you aren’t prepared. That’s why it’s important to know what to keep in your car in the event of an emergency.
Here are the essential tools and supplies that you should keep in your car at all times.
License and Registration
Keep your license and registration in your car at all times. If you’re pulled over for any reason, the process will run much more smoothly if you can easily access your license and registration papers.
You should also keep insurance papers and AAA card in your glovebox. If you’re stranded on the side of the road or involved in an accident, you’ll need them.
It’s always a good idea to have jumper cables with you. Just make sure you know how to use them first; incorrectly connecting the cables can seriously damage your car. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to safely jump start a car battery.
Your Car Manual
If you do have car issues, you will need your car’s manual to have any hope of fixing the problem. If you purchased a used car that is missing its manual, buy one for your car’s model and year online. Without the manual, you may not understand your car’s warning lights or how to check the fluid levels in the engine.
First Aid Kit
In addition to a traditional first aid kit that has bandages and antiseptic wipes, you should also pack a flashlight, umbrella, blankets, and an ice scraper. If you are stranded on the side of the road at night or if you need to look under your car, a flashlight will come in handy. Blankets can shield you from cold weather or from hot concrete depending on the season and should always be stored in your car.
Speaking of the chillier months, keep an ice scraper in your glovebox. Although you can use a credit card to clear the ice in an emergency, a scraper is much more efficient and costs next to nothing.
Tire Repair Kit
At some point in your life, you will inevitably experience a flat tire, even if you are diligent about regularly replacing them. That’s why it’s important to keep a tire repair kit in your car at all times. In general, a tire repair kit should include a spare tire, tire jack, tire iron, an inflator, sealer, lug wrench, and a can of WD-40 lubricating spray.
A flat tire can be disastrous if you don’t have the proper equipment to fix it. If you don’t know how to change a tire, ask a friend to help teach you or watch tutorials on Youtube.
In case of emergency, carry any important medications with you in your car. This can include regular aspirin or medicine you take daily. Since certain medications need to be stored at room temperature, you may want to pack them in your purse before you leave and take them with you instead of leaving a bottle of sensitive medicine in the trunk of your car.
If you think you may need an epipen or an inhaler, always keep it within reach in the glovebox.
If you are preparing for a long road trip, consider packing extra water bottles. Fatigue can quickly set in if you are stranded without access to water, especially in the summer. Since plastic water bottles can be unsafe to drink out of after sitting in a hot car for longer than a day, don’t keep these in your car for extended periods of time.
And speaking of running on empty, pack a gas can with you to more easily fill up in case you run out of fuel.
Other Useful Items
When there is no service or your phone has died, a good old-fashioned paper map can be extremely useful until you can navigate with your GPS. For an emergency where you have to turn your car off, store a portable USB charger in your glovebox. In addition, keep a few rolls of toilet paper and paper towels in your car. If you have to use the bathroom outdoors, you’ll be grateful for one of those little white rolls.
Finally, keep some duct tape in your emergency bin. Famous for its versatility, a durable roll of duct tape is always good to have on hand. Check out these ten heroic duct tape car repairs if you aren’t convinced.
Although this is an extensive list, these items can help you through almost any roadside emergency. Alleviate the stress caused by an unexpected emergency by knowing what to keep in your car.
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