A car emergency kit is always something we recommend people have in their vehicle at all times. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize their need for one until it’s too late. There are a number of kits that you can purchase, like this one from AAA, or this one if you’re prepping for a zombie apocalypse , but they are simple to put together yourself at home. You’ll be glad you made one should you ever find yourself in the position to need it.
Even if you have AAA, they may not come immediately, inclement weather may keep them from getting to you at all, and passengers inside the car could be injured. We put together our list of the 10 most important items to keep in your car emergency kit at all times.
1. A First-Aid Kit. Yes, a kit within your kit. These can be purchased very inexpensively at any drug store, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. and should include the typical items like Band-Aids, gauze, antibacterial cream, and anything else specific to your family’s needs.
2. Water. Depending on who your typical passengers are, you may want to keep more or less water handy, but a gallon jug is a good amount. We find this to be handy not even during a vehicle emergency, but also after a hike when you realize your dog doesn’t have quite enough water!
3. An extra cell-phone charger. Buy a spare charger that you NEVER take out of this kit. Most people have one handy inside the vehicle, but if your family is anything like ours, they mysteriously go missing from time to time. Keep one in the emergency kit that your battery-hogging teenagers don’t know about.
4. Non-perishable snacks. We recommend protein or granola bars and trail mix. We’ve also heard of people keeping those energy gel packets used by avid hikers and marathoners.
5. Rain poncho with a hood. This one sounds kind of silly, until you have to try and change your tire in the rain and you can’t see through the rain dripping down your face. It’s also helpful if you run out of gas and have to walk in the rain to the nearest gas station.
6. Multi-purpose utility tool. You can do a ton of cool things with a Swiss Army Knife, and the best part is, they are compact and lightweight. Handy for any number of emergencies, including, but not limited to, packing a romantic afternoon picnic and realizing you left your corkscrew or bottle opener at home.
7. Duct tape: One of the world’s most underrated inventions. A favorite of Michael Scott when he had to survive alone in the woods.
8. Flashlight and extra batteries. Bonus points if your flashlight is waterproof.
9. Jumper Cables. The longer the better, in case they have to be used after someone’s vehicle has gone off the road.
10. Foam tire sealant. Definitely not a permanent solution for a flat tire, but if you’re dealing with a small puncture, this foam sealant is a good quick fix to help you get from the side of the road to a nearby service center.
Also, here is a list of our Roadside Assistance Numbers you may want to keep in your vehicle.