With the last snow and ice storm in our recent memory, it reminded us of the need to re-stock the car's emergency kit. Many of us were stuck in our cars for hours, and some of use even had to sleep there when the ice on the roads was too slick to drive on.
In order to be prepared, here is a list of what to put in an automotive emergency kit:
- Cell phone charger – This one should be standard issue for most families.
- First aid kit – Get one that covers a wide range of potential issues. If you already have one in the car, make sure that it is fully stocked.
- Jumper cables- Make sure that they are in the back of the car.
- Flashlight – This can be very important if something happens at night. Choose one that is brightly colored and weatherproof. Remember the batteries too!
- Road flares- Emergency road flares may not be in your car's emergency kit, but they are a good thing to have at night!
- Tire gauge -This should be used regularly to check the pressure in all four tires and the spare. Also, check the pressure after a big change in temperature.
- Jack and lug wrench – Check your owner's manual to find out where they are located on the vehicle and how to use them.
- Portable compressor and/or tire plug kit – A portable DC-powered air compressor can be used to inflate a tire, and it is especially handy for one that suffers from a slow leak. To fix a puncture, however, you need to have it professionally repaired. (Foam tire sealant can be helpful too.)
- Fire extinguisher- Car fires can happen for a variety of reasons. The faster a fire can be put out, the less damage it will cause. Multipurpose dry-chemical fire extinguishers come in a variety of sizes. You should carry a compact unit that's labeled 1A10BC or 2A10BC.
- Food and water- Adding a few granola bars or small snacks (with a long lasting life) and some bottled water to the car's emergency kit would also be a good idea. In case you are even stranded inside the car, such as the last winter storm! It's always good to be prepared!