Be Prepared with a Car Emergency Kit
Having a car emergency kit in your car is sort of like having good insurance. You hope you'll never need it—but boy are you glad it's there on road trips if you have an accident or need to help others.
If you become stranded, it can be critical to have the right supplies to speed up being rescued, say driver-safety experts. This is especially true in winter weather, when having the right supplies could also mean your survival.
It's easy to be prepared for road trips. Auto emergency kits with most of these essentials cost $30 to $100 at stores that sell auto accessories. But you can also assemble your own car emergency kit. To be ready for any roadside emergency, here's what you should include.
What Belongs in the Trunk
Use a sturdy canvas bag with handles or a plastic bin to store your auto emergency kit, and secure it so it doesn't roll or bounce around when the car is moving. Include the following:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cloth or roll of paper towels
- Jumper cables
- Flares or warning triangles
- Drinking water
- Nonperishable snacks, such as energy or granola bars
- Extra clothes
- First-aid kit
- Basic tool kit that includes, at minimum, flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, pliers, and adjustable wrench
Inventory your items in the winter and spring, and include these six items before the winter months:
- Window washer solvent
- Ice scraper
- Bag of sand, salt, or cat litter, or traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Snow brush
- Gloves, hats, and additional blanket
Not all emergency equipment should be behind the backseat or in the trunk. Here are three essential items to stow within the driver's reach:
- Mobile phone
- Phone charger
- Auto-safety hammer (some have an emergency beacon and belt-cutting tool, too)
Bundle & Save
You can save up to 20% on home insurance and 10% on car insurance when you bundle policies together.