Unfortunately, its bound to happen and you don't want to get stranded. Here's the checklist of essentials you should store in your vehicle for emergencies.
Keep a box in your vehicle of items you may need in an emergency
We all know we should keep a spare tire that is inflated, a jack and a tire iron in case of a flat in our vehicles. But there are a handful of other items that can make your life easier in case of an automotive emergency. Some of them could even save your life!
Some of the basics center on common breakdowns. If your tire goes flat and you have a can of tire sealer and aerosol tire inflator (or a mechanical inflator that plugs into your cigarette lighter), you might be able to avoid the mess and danger of changing a tire on a busy road. If your car won’t start in a parking lot, jumper cables allow you to get help from any good Samaritan who has a working car battery. If you use remote routes, you might want to pack a charged emergency battery booster.
A plastic or rubber, snap-lid box full of other supplies can be a compact, neat way to keep emergency supplies. Here’s a quick list of essentials.
· First-aid. Tourniquet, large bandages, medical tape, adhesive bandages, alcohol wipes, bottled water, scissors, drinking straw, blanket (Mylar if you will travel in cold weather), paper towels. Pack feminine hygiene pads, too — they make excellent bandages for bad wounds.
· Lighting. Your kit needs a working flashlight, flares or reflective triangles, and spare batteries for your flashlight.
· Foot travel. Pack boots or sneakers and socks in case you have to walk a distance, a coat and hand and foot warmers if traveling in cold weather, and a paper map in case you can’t get cell or internet service.
· Self-service. Duct tape is a must in case you have to bind a bumper, mirror or other part of your car to make it drivable to a safe location. Keep a tow rope or chain in case someone needs to pull you out of a ditch or off the main road. Pack a mini-shovel and a jug of kitty litter or ice melt.
Your glove compartment is the right place to store things you might need in reach in an emergency.
· Escape. A knife or multi-tool will help you cut a seatbelt or break a window. Note that many vehicles also have removable headrests whose metal posts can be used to break a window if needed.
· Documents. Keep your registration and insurance information handy in case of an accident and your owners manual for reference on roadside repairs.
· Energy. Keep small snacks such as nuts or energy bars to tide you over if you are stranded for a long period.
· Communication. Of course, you need your cell phone, cell phone charger, and coins for pay phones in case needed.
These are everyday emergency items. If you are planning on driving a long distance for a trip, plan your emergency kit according to the weather and locations you will travel through. Always leave a travel plan with someone you can trust and check in periodically so people know your recent locations. It will make it much easier to rescue you if needed.
If you do have an auto accident — whether single-person or multivehicle — call your
Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent to begin the claims process. Your agent can give you excellent information on documentation needed and essential steps to take. Hopefully, you will never need your car insurance or your emergency kit, but keep both up to date just in case!