While driving on the road, preparedness for unexpected situations is key.  An emergency supply in your car can bring some peace of mind and increase your safety should you ever be in a serious situation on the road.  Whether you have a flat tire, encounter brutal weather, or a medical issue, the right supplies make almost any situation not quite an emergency.  Here’s how you put together a comprehensive car emergency kit.

Key Items to Include in a General Emergency Kit

First Aid Kit

In no car emergency kit should a good first-aid kit be left off the list.  Basic components of a first-aid kit include bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, gauze pads, and pain relievers.  Do not forget the personal medications required for each individual. These will help solve minor injuries and temporary relief before professional medical help is reached.

Tools and Equipment

Having some basic tools in your car can be a lifesaver when it comes to handling common roadside mishaps.  A multitool, duct tape, and a whistle are all very basic essentials.  Make sure you are also carrying a tire gauge, jumper cables, and a vehicle jack.  These kinds of tools can help you in any situation, from jump-starting a dead battery to changing a flat tire.

Safety Items

Safety items critical in indicating your presence to other drivers in the event of a roadside emergency include reflective triangles, flares, and a high-visibility vest.  These are particularly useful at night or during periods of low visibility.  A fire extinguisher rated for personal use can be invaluable in the event of a small fire.

Seasonal Items

Winter Items

For colder climates, include items to help with staying warm and managing snowy or icy conditions.  Pack a warm blanket, extra warm clothing, ice scraper, and a snow shovel.  Sand or kitty litter can help give you some traction if you happen to get stuck in snow or on ice.

Summer Items

Add things to keep you cool and hydrated in case of warmer temperature such as water bottles, sunscreen, and a hat.  Also consider a portable fan, cooling towels, or anything that will keep you cool when the heat gets unbearable.

Personal and Comfort Items

Foods and Liquids

Nutrition is important to provide you with energy and water if you are stranded for a long time.  Think about granola, dried fruit, and nuts; these will help replenish your energy and keep you sustained until help arrives.

Personal Items

Fully charge your mobile phone at all times, in case a need arises for it during an emergency.  Keep an extra charger or a power bank in your kit.  You might as well include basic personal hygiene items like tissues, hand sanitisers, and moist towelettes in your kit, to maintain a level of comfort and freshen up.

Documentation and Communications

Important Documents

It is very wise to make copies of important papers.  You are going to want a copy of your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information.  Ensure that it has emergency contact information and any medical details that would be required for making quick decisions.  These papers can make all the difference when documenting an accident or communicating with emergency services.  If you ever find yourself in a serious accident, talking to a St. Louis auto accident attorney can help you understand your rights.

Types of Communication

Make sure your cell phone is charged completely, to be able to call for assistance.  You might also want to have a portable radio on hand in order to be able to pick up emergency broadcasts if the signal on your phone is not there or too weak to use.

Maintenance and Inspection

Regular Updates

Keep your disaster supplies kit up-to-date. Replace all outdated items.  Make sure to include clothing and equipment that is suitable to the weather you are experiencing and the location of your stay, any time of the year.  Replace, update, or modify pieces of your disaster supplies after each new addition to make a usable kit.

Storage Tips

Keep the first aid kit in a location inside your vehicle that is easily accessible, like in the trunk or under a seat.  Use a waterproof container, made with durable material, that is able to protect what is inside the kit but still assures that everything is organized.

An emergency kit can mean all the difference in the world when facing the unexpected while on the road.  You will increase your safety and preparedness by making a good emergency kit that is plentiful with the essentials, seasonals, and personal supplies.  Spend the time and make your emergency kit; that way, you can drive with confidence that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.