A few years ago, an employee of mine was driving from Chicago to Minneapolis. Her car broke down in Wisconsin, and she was stranded. She couldn’t call her family for assistance, since they were all back on the East coast, and she was too far from Chicago to call a friend. She had to figure out what to do on her own. I talked to her shortly after this happened and she told me how much she wished she had an emergency kit in the car for that situation. “You never expect something like that to happen,” she told me. “But when it does, you wish you were prepared. An emergency kit won’t solve all problems, but it can solve a lot of problems. It’s important for peace of mind.” Because of this, we wanted to tell you how to create a car emergency kit. Make sure you are prepared for an accident or another issue with the information in this post.
Items to Fix Common Car Issues
Common issues with cars can occur and stop you dead in your tracks. Whether you face a flat tire, a dead car battery, or the car is running low on coolant, you could face an issue that will stop your car. It is important to have the tools to handle some of these common situations. Here is an emergency kit of items to fix common car issues:
- Jumper cables.
- A container of coolant.
- A flashlight with extra batteries.
- A spare tire.
- Tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and a pocketknife.
- A tire pressure gauge.
- Portable air pump designed for tires.
- Ice scraper.
- Fire extinguisher.
Also make sure that you keep your car manual in the car. If you notice something abnormal on your dashboard while driving, you can pull over and consult the manual to determine how to proceed.
Items to Get Further Help
In addition to carrying tools that could help you fix a minor issue with your car, you should carry items that can assist you in getting help. You won’t be able to fix every issue with your car. In this case, you need to be sure that you can contact someone for help. First and foremost, carry an extra phone charger in your car so that you can call someone for help. Also keep a AAA card on you if you are a member, in case you need to call for roadside assistance or a tow. It is also a good idea to invest in hotspot technology so that if your phone doesn’t get service, you can use the hotspot to make a phone call. Finally, consider carrying a flare in your car. If it is dark and technology fails you, you can signal for help with the flare.
First Aid Items
It is also a good idea to carry first aid items in your car. In the event of an accident, these items can come in handy. Consider carrying:
- Band aids.
- An ice pack.
- Ace bandages.
- Antiseptic wipes.
- Neosporin or a similar antibiotic ointment.
- Anti-inflammatory/pain medication such as asprin or ibuprofen.
- Emergency blanket.
If you regularly take medication, it is also a good idea to carry that medication with you wherever you go. For example, if you need an inhaler, make sure it is with you or carry a spare in the car.
Finally, consider carrying bottled water and some non-perishable food in the car, such as granola bars or protein bars.
If you are involved in an accident, we can provide resources to help you. Contact our office for more information.