Must Haves for Your Car Emergency Kit

emergencykitThink about the last time you had an emergency in your car. Perhaps it was a flat tire, or a car accident, or even a broken heater in the middle of winter. Thankfully, most of our car rides are uneventful, routine trips to and from work or home, or running errands around town. When something does go wrong with our vehicles, though, we often panic, reaching for the phone to call the insurance company or a tow truck.

Unfortunately, though those are convenient options, they can also be expensive and take a lot of time. An emergency kit stored in your backseat or trunk can be a real lifesaver in those scenarios. Though you may never even need to use them, consider packing these seven items in your vehicle – just in case!

  • Maps. In the GPS age, many people neglect to bring a map along for their rides. This might be okay for tooling around town, but on longer road trips or even traveling to an unfamiliar neighborhood, a map can be essential. With spotty satellite and data services, you never know when an old-fashioned map could come in handy.
  • Warning light, hazard triangles, flares. If your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road, it is imperative that you have some sort of signal to warn other motorists. This is especially true at night on dark roads that might not have adequate lighting.
  • Tire Repair Kit. If changing a tire intimidates you, a tire repair kit might be a little more user friendly when it comes to patching a leak. Grab a couple of cans of Fix-a-Flat, too, for even easier patching.
  • Jumper Cables. We’ve all accidentally left our lights on and drained our batteries. Most Good Samaritans are willing to give you a jump – provided you have the necessary equipment, that is. Make sure you’ve got a set and an understanding of the process before you ask for help.
  • First Aid Kit. Something no one ever hopes to have to use, a first aid kit can mean the difference between slowing down blood flow following an accident or going into shock.
  • Snacks. We never plan to be stranded in our cars, but bad weather can trap even the most experienced drivers in their vehicles. As you hunker down, you’ll want something to eat. Even a pack of granola bars and a bottle or two of water can provide enough sustenance to get you through a night.

With just a little preparation now, you can save yourself a headache later. You’ll potentially save time, money, and even keep you and your loved ones safe in an emergency situation. Packing an emergency kit you may never use is far worse than being stranded somewhere, regretting having read an article like this one and ignored the advice!