Extra Items You Should Have In Your Car

Time magazine reports Americans use as much as 4.2 billion hours each year driving from here to there. A percentage of that time is spent waiting for assistance because the car broke down. The lemon law is there for those who find themselves always on the side of the road, but even new cars can break down. Keeping the right little extras on hand is the difference between being stuck waiting in a potentially dangerous situation or able to move on to your destination.

Roadside Repair Kit
The little things that go wrong while driving are often easy to deal with when you have the right supplies. That is the purpose of a roadside emergency kit. It contains the basics to get help or a fast repair. A proper safety kit is the single most vital thing to have in a vehicle. Things to put in a kit include:

  • Car charger for the cellphone
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flares or hazard triangles
  • Tire gauge
  • Tire jack and lug wrench
  • Foam tire repair sealant
  • Spare fuses
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Roadside assistance phone numbers
  • Tow rope

Opt for items that don’t require batteries when possible. For example, you might store a flashlight and emergency radio with hand cranks. Keep extra batteries in the kit if necessary.

Personal Emergency Supplies
The personal emergency kit focuses on you instead of the vehicle, but is just as critical. These items are there if you become stranded or ill while traveling.

  • Bottled water
  • Snack foods
  • Small amount of cash – keep both small bills and change in the kit
  • Pen and paper
  • Emergency contact number
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra clothing
  • Rainwear
  • Umbrella
  • Blanket
  • Lighter

Information is an important part of your kit, especially if you have a chronic illness. Keep a small notepad on hand that gives vital data about your health. For example, if you suffer from a severe allergy or are asthmatic, a notepad listing your illness and doctor’s phone number will help EMS personal. List any medications you take regularly. If you rely on drugs to maintain your health, such as insulin or a rescue inhaler, keep spares in your personal kit. Diabetics should also have hard candies for low blood sugar emergencies.

Motorists often find themselves trapped on the side of a busy highway or deserted on an empty road. Having the proper supplies is the difference between a slight annoyance and a significant emergency. If the car breaks down often then the lemon law can help, but even the perfect vehicle will get the occasional flat. Whether you run out of gas or suddenly feel ill, stocking up on a few essentials will save the day.

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Heather B is part of a team of writers who helps people prepare for anything.

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