Everything You Need To Know To Pack Your Own Emergency Roadside Kit
The best type of driver is one that is prepared. Although vehicle technology has gotten better over the years, and cars do break down less frequently, you never know when or where you might be faced with an emergency roadside situation. Having a well-prepared emergency roadside kit in your vehicle at all times could be the difference between getting your car back on the road, getting yourself out to safety, or at least being comfortable until help arrives. An emergency roadside kit is undoubtedly the single most important item that every vehicle should have, but most people don’t carry one. So, we have put together everything you need to know to build the ultimate emergency roadside kit and make sure you are prepared for any roadside surprise.
Always Have A Cellphone
It seems like this is one thing no one would need to be told in today’s society, yet we still hear many stories of people breaking down in emergency situations and becoming stranded for days because they didn’t have a way to contact anyone. Anytime you are in your vehicle you should make sure you have a cellphone with you, so you can call for help if an emergency does occur. In addition to always having your cell phone with you in your vehicle, you should also have a car cell phone charger that always stays in your vehicle.
A well-prepared emergency roadside kit will have all of your basic first-aid essentials, along with a few other special items needed in a roadside situation. Your first-aid kit should include band-aids, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, bug spray, sunscreen, pain killer, an instant ice pack and heat compress, cotton balls, gauze pads, tape for gauze pads, scissors, cotton swabs, tweezers, a bandana, hydrocortisone cream, petroleum jelly, and prepared eyewash and eye cup. Other safety items your emergency roadside kit should include are:
- Roadside flares / glowsticks and reflective warning triangles – visibility is key to gaining attention for help
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- Car escape tool (keep this one in your glove box) that can cut a seatbelt and break a window
- A small fire extinguisher
Any emergency roadside kit should include some basic vehicle repair items to help get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Most cars already come with a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench in the trunk, but if yours doesn’t have one you should definitely get one. Other items you should make sure you have available for emergency vehicle repairs include:
- A pair of jumper cables for battery problems
- A no-spill gas can in case you unexpectedly run out of gas
- A tire patch and tire inflation canister to fix flat tires that don’t need to be replaced with a spare
- A car fuse replacement kit and puller in case of a blown fuse
- A small tool kit that at a minimum includes screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, an adjustable wrench, a multi tool like a Swiss Army Knife, and a tire pressure gauge.
- Two quarts of oil
Hopefully with your well-prepared emergency roadside kit you will be able to get back on the road quickly and your comfort items won’t be needed. But just in case you do get into an emergency situation in which you are stranded for a longer period of time some comfort items your emergency roadside kit should include are:
- Seasonal comfort items – rain poncho, umbrella, boots, gloves, jacket, etc.
- Change of clothes
- High-protein nonperishable easy to carry snacks like energy bars, raisins, and peanut butter
- Bottled water
The best roadside emergency kits take into consideration your and your family’s personal needs, such as children and pets, and the age and condition of your vehicle. In addition to the items added above a few extras you may consider including in your emergency roadside kit are:
- Roadmaps or a hand-held GPS device
- A battery operated or hand-crank powered radio
- Spare change and cash
- Diapers, wipes, formula or baby food if you have a baby
- Small bag of pet food and a water bowl
- Small battery-powered fan (can be extremely helpful during the hot Florida summers)
- A durable bookbag that you can take survival items with you if you need to leave your vehicle
- Pen and paper
- A deck of card or a book to pass time while waiting for help
The most important part of your emergency roadside kit is making sure you have the proper automobile insurance coverage! Contact Magruder Insurance today to have a licensed agent review your current insurance policy and make sure you have the coverage you need in the event of an accident or emergency – like roadside assistance!