Take to the open road with an auto emergency kit

winter driving2

Emergencies can happen to anyone. Whether you run out of fuel, puncture a tire, or slip off a snowy road, keep a car emergency kit to help you get back on the road safely and quickly.

In addition to the items listed below, a cellular phone is highly advised. Make sure your cell phone is charged every time you get in the car and keep a cell phone charger in your car.

Keep these items in a bag in your trunk. Ideally, we’d suggest a clear, plastic container so it’s easy to see everything.  You can buy a pre-packaged kit or create your own.

  • Flashlight, plus extra batteries
    Jumper cables
    First Aid Kit (band-aides, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antiseptic cream). See First-aid kit checklist.
    Bottled water
    Multi-tool (such as a Leatherman Tool or a Swiss Army Knife)
    Road flares or reflective warning triangles

Other essentials:

  • Small fire extinguisher (5-lb., Class B and Class C type) in case of a car fire
    Tire gauge to check inflation pressure in all four tires and the spare tire
    Jack and lug wrench to change a tire
    Gloves, rags, hand cleaner (such as baby wipes)
    Duct tape
    Foam tire sealant for minor tire punctures
    Rain poncho
    Nonperishable high-energy foods such as granola bars, raisins, and peanut butter
    Battery– or hand-crank–powered radio
    Spare change and cash
    Maps

For those in wintry areas, add the below items to your emergency kit. (If it’s balmy all winter where you live, be thankful that you don’t need all this stuff!)

  • Blankets, gloves, hats
    Ice scraper
    Collapsible or folding snow shovel
    A bag of sand to help with traction (or bag of kitty litter)
    Blanket
    Tire chains and tow strap
    Hand warmers
    Winter boots for longer trips
    Sleeping bag for longer trips

Source: Farmers’ Almanac