Although many people believe it will never happen to them, roadside emergencies and accidents can occur at anytime. Help may not always arrive right away, so here is a list of items that you should keep in your vehicle in case of an emergency or accident.
- Cell Phone – This can be the single most important part of your emergency kit. Make sure to keep a car charger in case you are stranded for a long period of time. If you cannot get service, try dialing 9-1-1. Many phones are programmed with special instructions regarding 9-1-1 calls.
- Fire Extinguisher – Whether it is from an accident or just a wiring short circuit, fires can occur in a multitude of ways. If the fire spreads, get away from the vehicle as quickly as possible; but if it’s a small, contained fire, use the fire extinguisher to prevent further damage to your car.
- Hazard Triangle or Flare – It is vital that other motorists can see you if you’re in an accident or broken down on the side of the road, especially at night. Reflective hazard triangles or road flares can be easily stored in your trunk, and provide a sufficient warning for others.
- Water and Food – In case you ever get stranded, you should keep a gallon of water in your car at all times. This can also be used to cool your car down if it overheats. Energy bars can also be stored in your vehicle. They are calorie dense to provide you with energy and keep you full, and you won’t have to worry about them spoiling.
- Flashlight – A flashlight can come in handy whether you have an emergency at night or just need some more light while looking for any problems with your vehicle.
- Tools – A car jack and tire iron are essentials. Anyone is capable of changing a tire. Ask someone with experience to show you how to use these tools prior to storing them away in your vehicle. A utility knife would also be helpful, especially if you are in a situation where you need to cut your seatbelt.
- Cat Litter or Rock Salt – When battling harsh winter weather conditions, you may end up stuck because you cannot get traction on a slick surface. Laying cat litter under your tires will provide the traction you need to get your vehicle moving, or laying rock salt can help to melt the snow or ice down to the asphalt.