Be Safe. Be Prepared. 20 Must Have Items for Your Car Emergency Kit.
Being stranded, hurt, or lost is one of the scariest possibilities when driving your motor vehicle. Are you prepared for an emergency? When it comes to a car emergency it is best to follow the boy scout’s motto to “always be prepared”. That’s why it is always important to keep a car emergency kit in your vehicle.
While most cars come equip with a few basic tools, such as a basic car jack and spare tire, some “breakdown” situations will require more than just the ability to fix a flat tire.
20 Items for Your Roadside Emergency Kit:
To be prepared for a car breakdown, here are 20 items you should always have in your car:
- The manual for your car which should already be in your glove box.
- Spare tire, tire jack, tire iron in case you need to change a tire.
- Work gloves and a small tool kit to do work on your car.
- Car escape tool including a seatbelt cutter and window breaker in case you or a passenger gets stuck.
- Gauge to check your tire pressure if your tires feel low.
- Jumper cables to boost your battery if you’re having trouble starting your car.
- Flashlight for if you get stuck in the dark. A self-powered flashlight is recommended to make sure you don’t run out of battery power.
- First-aid kit in case you or a passenger gets injured and needs medical care.
- Map to help you find your way if you get lost.
- Blanket to keep warm and dry.
- Ponchos in case you have to change a tire or get out of your car to check on your vehicle in the rain.
- Flares to bring attention to you in the dark so that you don’t get hit by another vehicle.
- Caution triangle for visibility so that other automobiles can easily spot you.
- Non-perishable snacks(such as protein bars) in case you are lost or stranded for a while and need to prepare a meal to prevent going hungry.
- Water bottles to keep yourself hydrated and to prevent life threatening dehydration, which can occur if you are stranded for multiple days.
- Multi-tool and waterproof matches to assist you with all sorts of different situations.
- Paper towels & rags
- Cellphone to call for a ride, contact your local mechanic shop, or to call emergency departments if you were involved in a car accident where someone requires emergency medical attention.
- Cellphone charger to be left in your vehicle in case your phone runs out of battery power.
- Contact information for your local Mechanic Shop:Call Optimum Auto at (780) 477-2883.
Other Safety Items
While the above list provides a great base for any car emergency kit, these are some items that – while not necessary – could be helpful in a car emergency.
- Backup fluids, including oil, windshield washer, and coolant, can come in handy if your fluid levels are running low.
- Tow straps can be useful for a roadside emergency when your car is still running but is simply stuck due to snowy or icy conditions. If you are stuck, carrying a tow strap can be useful in case a fellow motorist stops to assist you.
- GPS unit can come in handy if you are stranded in a location with poor cellular reception.
- Sanitation (such as hand sanitizer, towelettes, and small trash bags).
- Toiletries, including soap and toilet paper, if your car breaks down a long ways from a city or town.
- Hand crank radio can come in handy for checking weather updates while preserving you car battery.
- Sleeping bags are especially useful if you are stranded overnight, in a location far from a town, or if your car breaks down in the wintertime.
While the above items will be enough for most car emergencies, if you live in a city with colder winters, such as Edmonton, Alberta, than there are additional considerations due to cold weather, and poor road conditions due to ice, snow, or poor visibility.
10 Items for Winter Car Emergencies:
Some additional items you should have in your vehicle during cold weather include:
- Gloves and toque to keep warm.
- Shovel in case you need to dig your car out of a snow pile.
- Ice scraper to keep your windows clear.
- Hand and foot warmers to help raise you body temperature and prevent frost bite.
- Warm clothes in case you must endure longer waiting times in the cold.
- Candles for light & heat. Multi-wick candles in are the most effective in heating your vehicle because each wick produces additional heat.
- Tin can to hold candles. The metal of the tin can will transfer heat more efficiently, better heating your car.
- Waterproof matches to light your candles.
- Sand or kitty litter to provide traction if you are spinning out in the snow.
- Emergency car battery charger to jumpstart your own vehicle if there are no other cars around.
If this list seems like too much work for you, don’t worry! Ready-made car emergency kits can be purchased from most hardware stores for a price of between $20 and $75. These kits normally come equipped with the essentials such as a first aid kit, jumper cables, a tow rope, a reflective safety triangle, a battery-powered flashlight and more.
Edmonton Car Repairs
Are you experiencing a car emergency or problems with your vehicle? Come in to Optimum Auto to make sure everything is in working order. Optimum Auto Service is your Edmonton mechanic shop, founded on the principles on honesty and hard-work. We welcome walk-ins so if you are experiencing difficulty with your car, do not hesitate to give us a call at (780) 477-2883.