car emergency kit
14 Must-Have Items in Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

14 Must-Have Items in Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

When it comes to emergencies while driving, roadside assistance is a valuable service but also one that often gives us a false sense of security. If something happens to our vehicle, we make a quick call for assistance then wait while the problem is fixed or our vehicle is towed.

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.

Other necessities

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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