Cars today are extremely reliable, but there are many reasons you could get stuck, from inclement weather to a sudden mechanical breakdown. Both having an emergency kit and keeping the essentials in your car’s emergency kit are highly recommended. An uneventful trip can quickly turn into the need to switch to survival mode. While each kit may vary by the typical terrain you travel through, it’s important to keep the following essential on hand:
Emergency First Aid Kit
There are many prepackaged kits to purchase. If putting a kit together on your own, make sure it has:
- Multiple-sized bandages
- Antibiotic cream
- Pain relievers
- Hand sanitizer
- Cotton swabs
- Allergy medicine
Also, a thermometer is good to have handy, as is a heating pad. If you or a family member takes prescription medications, keep a supply with you when traveling.
Personal Survival Items
Must-haves to keep in your trunk or emergency go bag, if you spend lots of time in your car, include:
- Water Bottles: Staying hydrated is a must, but spare water can also be used on the car radiator if it overheats, or to clean oil off your clothes.
- Warm Clothing: Sweatshirts, blankets, and other items can be lifesaving if you get stuck in cold temperatures. A fleece blanket or thermal sleeping bag can help in especially chilly regions.
- Gloves: Have thick work gloves in case you need to work around hot materials and corrosive chemicals; disposable gloves should be on hand in case you need to help an injured person.
- Flashlight: Purchase a heavy-duty, waterproof flashlight for looking under the hood at night. Have extra batteries too.
- Snacks: Being hungry and waiting for a tow truck isn’t fun. Neither is being on the road without food to buy. Keep crackers, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, energy bars, or ready-to-eat meals in the trunk.
Car Tool Kit
If your car breaks down nowhere near a gas station or auto shop, screwdrivers, tire gauges, pliers, a pocket knife, ice scraper, and collapsible shovel can go a long way. Also have spare oil and brake fluid as well as duct tape, antifreeze, foam tire sealant, and jumper cables.
Emergency flares keep you safe if your car stalls on a busy road or dark curve. Orange or red reflective flares around your car warn other drivers, who may not otherwise see you, even if the hazard flashers are turned on.
A flat tire is merciless and will leave you stuck no matter where it happens. Learn how to replace a tire and have a spare on hand, along with tools such as a tire iron/wrench, jack, and pipe that you can remove an old tire and install a new one with.
Seat Belt Cutter and/or Window Breaker
Should be kept in your glove compartment or door well in case there’s an emergency and you must get out of your car quickly.
Other Useful Items
- Handheld GPS device (other than your phone, which may run out at the worst moment)
- Hand sanitizer, small trash bags, and other sanitary items
- Tissues, toilet paper, and toiletries
- Solar-powered battery charger
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- USB phone/device charger
- Car fire extinguisher
- Paper towels and rags
- Pen and paper
- Washer fluid
- Umbrella, rain gear, ice scrapers, and other seasonal supplies
Find Your Next Car at Hawthorne Auto Square
Our Buy Here, Pay Here dealership has a huge inventory of high-quality used vehicles. Customers in the Los Angeles area can get approved for financing in minutes. Visit us in Hawthorne or call 866-707-7664 today for more information.