While it’s scary to imagine being in an emergency situation, it’s a lot scarier to be unprepared during one. By thinking ahead and doing a little of the worrying early on, we can avoid the full brunt of the emergency. Emergencies can strike at any time and rarely give notice. One common time they happen is on the road, so it is essential to stock up on supplies that will counter the impact of a bad situation. With little effort, it’s easy to brace for the worst by getting these must-have supplies for your car emergency kit.
The Essential Gear
Hopefully, an up-to-date first aid kit is the very first thing on everyone’s essential gear list. Besides this, a flashlight and a compass can be handy in a variety of situations. Cones or reflective triangles are useful to signal other drivers in case your emergency involves stopping unexpectedly on or near the road.
A reflective vest is a good safety measure in case you end up having to follow the road on foot, especially after dark. On a more mundane level, fresh water and nonperishable snacks are important to have around in any situation. Lastly, cat litter is very useful to give tires more traction in case you get mired off-road.
Inclement Weather Supplies
Once you’ve covered the basics, go after the survival items that are specifically related to weather. Blankets, a spare coat, and warming pads are simple must-have supplies for your car emergency kit. A few rain ponchos, a change of clothes, and an umbrella will keep you warm and safe in case of freezing rain or heavy downpours. A snow shovel and a snowbrush or ice scraper are absolute musts for snowy regions.
Car Repair Kit
Do you have everything you need in case you experience a problem with the car itself? No matter how new or well-kept your car is, things can go wrong. Usually, these issues occur when you least expect them. Make sure you cover all the basics. Gather spare parts for any known issues that you have experienced in the past. Keep tools in the car that help with maintenance.
This includes basic tools such as screwdrivers and a prybar, as well as a wheel wrench and a jack that you feel comfortable using. Always keep a set of jumper cables in the car and do not remove them unless absolutely necessary. Lastly, make sure you have a spare tire. Make sure you know where it is, how to get it loose from where it is, and keep it in tip-top shape.
Be Ready for Any Emergency
The final and best thing to have before emergency strikes is experience. By knowing what could happen on the road, you can prevent taping into your emergency backstock. Knowledge is the most important resource! Research what kind of weather or foreseeable problems tend to crop up in your region. For bad weather, research driving tips to keep your vehicle safe while on the road. Minimizing driving plans and planning routes that are near pit stop areas is a great way to stay safe, too. It’s also good to make an emergency plan in the event you experience car trouble, just as you would have an emergency plan for a crisis in the home.