Being prepared in an emergency, or even if it is less dire and you just become stranded, is an important part of being a responsible driver. Now it is likely that many motorists will have a mobile phone or GPS, so the idea of being stranded seems practically impossible, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities, so it is better to be ready in case that happens. Once a Roadside Preparedness Kit is assembled and placed in the vehicle and it will be there when it is needed.
Here are some things that every vehicle should absolutely have in case of an emergency:
- Flashlight – try to find the kind that you wind to charge. That way you’ll always have batteries.
- Multipurpose knife/tool – Swiss Army or Leatherman type with several different tools.
- A pencil and paper – graphite in the pencil never dries out like ink would.
- Roadside flares
- Small First Aid kit – familiarize yourself with the contents and how to use them
- Tire inflator
- A rag or two
- Tire pressure gauge (many people carry this with them in the glove box. Keeping your tires properly inflated gets you better gas mileage and can prevent unnecessary tire wear)
Tire changing equipment is not listed here, because that is an absolute essential – don’t leave home without it – and most newer cars have a built in jack and lug wrench.
Other, less essential, but very handy things to tuck into a Roadside Kit are:
- Adjustable wrench
- Blanket – put on the essential list in the winter months
- Ice scraper – also essential in winter months)
- Spray bottle with washer fluid
- One quart of oil
- Extra fuses
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Gallon of antifreeze
- Help sign
- Jumper cables
- Roll of duct tape
- Roll of paper towels
- Bottled water (These last two items have to be rotated out or they will spoil)
- Snack or energy bars
All of these items can be contained in a heavy-duty bag and if packed tightly can take up less trunk space. Take a bit of time to learn how to use all of the items and take a look every so often, so that you remember what is in there. Other than that you can tick that off of your to-do list and rest easy.