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7 Roadside Emergency Kit Essentials

July 9, 2020

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If you own a car, chances are that you have experienced being in some sort of roadside emergency at least once. The sad part is that this can happen to anyone at any time. Even if you’re a really careful driver, you may still find yourself in this situation and suffer a car breakdown.

Here are 5 common roadside emergencies:

  • Car accidents

  • Flat tire

  • Dead battery

  • Stuck vehicle

  • Overheating engine

You never know when you’ll find yourself in these situations so you must remain prepared. For this reason, you must assemble a roadside emergency kit. It must be packed with essential items that can help you survive different emergencies while driving. You can put them in a box or bag, and store them in your trunk safely.

Pre-assembled roadside emergency kits can be bought in stores or online. But unfortunately, some of those don’t have everything that you may need. That’s why, if possible, it would be better if you can assemble the kit on your own.

Here are 7 roadside emergency kit essentials for any season:

What to Put in Your Roadside Emergency Kit?

1. First Aid Kit
Road accidents can happen to anyone. Did you know that there are more than 6 million reported car accidents in the United States per year? While some of them are fatal, some are just minor collisions.

With that, having a first aid kit in your vehicle will come in handy. You can use it to provide first aid treatment for yourself and to whoever you are with in the vehicle. You can also use it to help other motorists who are in need. Just make sure that you have adequate first aid knowledge and training before doing so.

There are well-stocked first aid kits available in drugstores and online. But if you want to make your own, just make sure you include the following:

  • Hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, or isopropyl alcohol

  • Gauze pads/bandages

  • Adhesive band-aids

  • Medicines (e.g. antihistamine, paracetamol aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)

  • Cotton swabs/balls

  • Tweezers

  • Medical scissors

  • Safety pins

  • Topical ointments and creams

  • First aid kit guide

You can also include any first aid essentials you can think of. If you have young ones in the family, include child or infant versions of the items listed above. This is to ensure that they can receive first aid medication appropriate for them.

2. Food and Water
Put some non-perishable food items and bottled water in your emergency kit. Having something to eat will help a lot in case you become stranded for several hours. Put some crackers, energy bars, and easy-open canned goods that you like. Don’t forget to include some bottled water to keep you hydrated.

Here are other food items that won’t spoil in your car:

  • Potato chips

  • Candies

  • Nuts

  • Meat Jerky

You can also put these items in your glove compartment, so you have something to chew whenever the traffic is bad or just having a long day on the road.

3. Flashlights
Flashlights are a no-brainer when it comes to roadside emergency essentials. These items come in handy for different situations. You can use them to inspect your car or give you better visibility if you’re fixing something. You can also use them to read a map when you’re lost during a road trip.

Do not forget to have spare batteries as well, just in case. You can also just buy mechanically powered or cranked-powered flashlights. Instead of normal batteries, these flashlights use the muscle power of the owner to generate light. Typically, a minute of hand cranking can give the flashlight about thirty to sixty minutes of light, depending on the model you get.

4. Fire Extinguisher
A report from the US Fire Administration says that approximately 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred each year from 2014 to 2016. This accounted for 13 percent of all fire incidents that fire departments responded to for the same period. With that, you must be ready once this roadside emergency hits you. What better way to do this than to store a fire extinguisher in your car.

Most car fires start small. Whether they are caused by electric or mechanical damage in your car, having a fire extinguisher can help you decrease the damage. Once you notice that a small fire starts to ignite, you can just pull over and quickly use the fire extinguisher to kill it.

5. Mobile Battery Pack (a.k.a. Powerbank)
Imagine your car broke down and you’re stuck on the road in the middle of the night. To make matters worse, your phone’s battery died — prohibiting you from contacting your family and friends for help. Can you imagine how inconvenient is that?

That is why keeping a mobile battery pack in your roadside emergency kit comes in handy every time. You may probably already be using this gadget on a daily basis. But it would be great if you have an extra one in your emergency kit. That way, you’ll never run out of battery power during a roadside emergency.

6. Blankets
The benefits of blankets in your roadside emergency kit is more than you can think of. It is useful to help keep you warm until help arrives, especially if you’re stranded during a rainy or snowy night. Any type of blanket will do, but I suggest that you store a wool blanket if possible. This is not only because it can keep you warmest, but it is also flame resistant — which is useful during emergency situations.

Blankets can also be used in other ways beyond keeping you warm. If you are to fix some minor damages in your car, you can also use the blanket so you don’t have to lay down on the floor directly. You don’t know what dirt or other harmful elements might be on the ground.

7. Tool Kit
Owning a car is undoubtedly a responsibility. It can break down when you least expect it. That is why having at least the basic knowledge on how to fix it is necessary.

To do this, you will need the right set of tools stored in your vehicle. Make sure that you have the basic and most commonly used tools such as screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, pocket knives, and pliers. You can also include other items in your tool kit such as electrical tapes, vice grips, basic socket sets, tire gauges, and more.

Another thing that you might want to put in the tool kit are mechanic gloves. This will protect your hands when fixing your car or changing your tires. You can also use these to keep you warm in case you’re stranded during a cold or rainy night.

Be Prepared for Any Roadside Emergencies

Listed above are just some of the most important essentials that your roadside emergency kit must have. But don’t just limit yourself with what is included in this list. You can put anything you want in your own kit. Assess your personal situation to distinguish what other essentials might be necessary for you when some sort of roadside emergency occurs.


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