Roadside emergencies can happen to the best of us, and while we certainly don’t anticipate the vast majority of them, we can make these unexpected events less harsh when we’re prepared. Let’s take a look at the top items you should keep in your vehicle at all times in case of an emergency.
Phone Charger – Just about everyone has a cell phone they carry with them, but far less have a portable phone charger they rely on. If you find yourself stranded, a depleted battery won’t get you very far. Keep an inexpensive universal phone charger in your car to keep cell phone batteries charged.
Jumper Cables – Not only should you have jumper cables in your trunk, but you should also know how to use them! Jumper cables are necessary if your battery dies and you need a jump from someone else. Opt for cables that are six feet long in case your car is stranded in an odd position that makes it difficult for another vehicle to park right next to it.
Flashlight – If it’s night and you have car trouble, need to change a tire, or jump start your car, a flashlight will come in handy. Plus, you won’t have to use your phone’s battery for light. Just be sure to keep extra flashlight batteries on hand in case they die out.
Roadside Flares/Reflective Triangles – If your car is dead and you’re situated on the side of the road, don’t just cross your fingers and hope that no one sideswipes or hits your vehicle. Thankfully, roadside flares and reflection triangles can help avert an accident, bringing attention to your car to alert other drivers.
First Aid Kit – First aid kits are great for everyday accidents as well as on-the-road emergencies. You can purchase kits designed specifically for the vehicle or build your own with items like bandages, gauze, antiseptic cream and burn cream.
Warm Blankets and Other Cold Weather Items – If you’re stranded at night or in the winter, you’ll be cold waiting for help. Keep a few blankets and other items like gloves, scarves and hats in your vehicle for these situations. And, blankets come in handy for impromptu picnics!
Food and Water – Choose high-protein, non-perishable snacks like granola bars to have on hand. Also stock bottled water which can be used for hydration purposes as well as to clean wounds. If you’ve driven out west before, you know that it can be many miles before food and water are available.
Be sure to check these emergency items often, as some of them will expire, others will be used up, and some may no longer work (i.e., car charger).