The large-scale use of mobile phones makes most of us feel overconfident when we are on the road. An emergency can happen anywhere at any time, and we often assume that we can always call for help. But you can’t ever be sure you’ll have a cell phone signal or that your cell phone battery won’t die. As a precautionary measure you should always carry an emergency kit in your car. Of course, you can buy these kits, but if you take the time to put one together yourself, you’ll have a better kit and be prepared for any emergency. The following are items you should store in a large duffle bag or backpack in the trunk of your car.
You always need to carry drinking water. An emergency can happen in a remote location where you don’t have access to people or other vehicles. The weather can prevent help from reaching you quickly. Place drinking water in small containers or buy small pouches to place in your kit. By keeping water on hand you can:
- Prevent dehydration.
- Clean wounds, cuts and hands.
- Use it to cool the radiator down when it overheats.
2- High Calorie Food Bars
If your car breaks down in an area far from home, you’ll want to have food on hand. You can’t keep fresh food in your car because it will spoil, and because it takes up a large amount of space. The best thing to do is to pack high calorie food bars. This type of packaged food can be exposed to high temperatures and can last for several months in your trunk, providing the package is not open.
If you are ever caught out on the road at night or in the middle of a storm, keeping warm will be a priority. Pack a small travel or emergency blanket in your bag.
Always keep a flashlight on hand. It comes in very handy in the event of a road emergency.
5- First Aid Kit
You can buy an inexpensive first aid kit. Just be sure it has everything you need to take care of minor injuries. You’ll need pain relievers, sterile pads, bandages, gauze and micropore tape. You may want to add a few more items that aren’t included in a standard first aid kit. These can include: * Toilette paper * Tissues * Safety pins * Latex gloves
Add a small tool kit. Keep it as complete as possible with a small socket set, a crescent wrench, and a few screwdrivers. You’ll also want a few additional tools like: flares, a plastic gas container, battery cables, emergency tire repair foam, duct tape, hose clamps and a multi-purpose knife. If you are often out in inclement weather and in remote areas, you’ll want to add an axe, hammer and a collapsible shovel (to remove snow or mud).
7- Electronic Devices
Buy an inexpensive pay-as-you-go phone. Keep it in the bag just in case you forget your phone, lose it, or some other unfortunate incident happens. Buy a car power adapter to carry in the bag to charge your new phone if necessary.
8- Bottom Line
Although you can buy several types of pre-packaged emergency car kits, making your own is probably less expensive and gives you a more complete package. If you do decide to purchase a pre-made kit, be sure to inspect it, and customize it by adding some of the above items.
Dennis Gilroy is a blogger who writes about all things relating to cars. His articles appear on personal finance, lifestyle and auto blogs. Visit http://www.autoinsurance.us/ for a car insurance quote.